COVID cluster grows: Another prison officer tests positive

 

Two Arthur Gorrie officers - who trained at the academy and then went to work - have tested positive to COVID-19, jail staff have revealed this afternoon.

The Courier-Mail has been told the two officers were part of training at the Queensland Corrective Services academy last week.

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Health authorities this morning announced three new cases - two recruits at the academy and one of the Arthur Gorrie officers - but it's understood an additional officer result has only returned this afternoon.

The latest case would take the academy cluster to five after an academy trainer tested positive on Wednesday.

The Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre. Picture: NCA NewWire/Dan Peled
The Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre. Picture: NCA NewWire/Dan Peled

Staff at Arthur Gorrie jail have been told one officer worked in their prison units on Monday and Tuesday this week. The other officer worked there on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

"If you are deemed a close contact you will be contacted by Public Health as soon as possible," staff at Arthur Gorrie have been told.

More than 1000 prisoners are housed in Arthur Gorrie.

Authorities have refused to comment about the Arthur Gorrie cases this afternoon and say they will address the media tomorrow morning.

Commissioner Peter Martin wrote to staff this morning, telling them about one of the positive Arthur Gorrie cases. He told staff the officer attended a course at the academy from 17-23 August.

"We are working consistently and thoughtfully with Queensland Health to identify further contacts of these officers and to understand the implications," Mr Martin wrote.

"Stage 4 restrictions will continue at all correctional centres from Capricornia south to the NSW border based on the best advice from Queensland Health.

"QCS has a thoughtful plan in place, guided by Queensland Health, and as this situation develops, we will respond as necessary to stop the spread of the virus.

"This is a difficult and unique situation, and it is vital for the safety of our officers and the 7,000 prisoners locked down to prevent further transmission to continue this work.

The Courier-Mail has been told anyone who went to the Wacol training academy have been now told to self-isolate and get tested.

"They can't determine who is patient zero, the academy is deemed 'the case'," an officer said.

"Anyone who has been to the academy is now a 'close contact' of the case."

"If they've been at the academy they are deemed a close contact and must self-isolate for 14 days."

Originally published as COVID cluster grows: Another prison officer tests positive


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