How virus jumped from cruise ship to prison


A PRISON officer at a Brisbane jail tested positive to coronavirus after borrowing a trailer from a holidaying colleague who had just returned from the highly infected Ruby Princess cruise.

The Courier-Mail can reveal the bungle involving the two officers was realised by Queensland Corrective Services days later, forcing a lock down of Wolston jail on Wednesday after the working officer's positive test.

The holidaying officer returned home from the cruise ship - which has now had more than 130 cases of the virus - and was self-isolating at his home when his colleague visited him to borrow the trailer.

After borrowing the trailer the officer returned to work at the jail in the following days and is understood to have completed three 12-hour shifts between Saturday and Monday.

The officer from the cruise ship then subsequently received a positive test which alerted prison superiors of the dire scenario.

The officer who had contact with him then received a positive test and the jail was locked down for a forensic clean.
A blame game has erupted over letting 2700 passengers, some of whom were known to be sick, off the Ruby Princess cruise in Sydney last Thursday with the Australian Border Force stating federal agricultural authorities and NSW Health were responsible.



As authorities yesterday continued to battle the spread of the virus and trace all contact within the jail, a Queensland Corrective Services spokesman said just one prisoner had been transferred from the jail since Saturday.

The spokesman declined to comment in detail about the incident involving the two officers.

In relation to other staff at the jail, the spokesman said an additional colleague had been told to self-isolate, however they were continuing to contact trace.

"A number of officers did not present for shift today, however there is no indication at this stage that they should be self-isolating," the spokesman said.

"Any officer who develops symptoms such as a fever, sore throat or coughing is urged to contact their supervisor, and attend a fever clinic."

The spokesman said initial advice from Queensland Health was that they did not consider prisoners to be in close contact with the officer.

"The prison remains in lock down to minimise contact between prisoners while contact tracing continues," the spokesman said.






Originally published as How virus jumped from cruise ship to prison

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