Managers in firing line as COVID-19 probe begins

 

 

CHIEF Health Officer Jeannette Young will conduct her own personal investigations into how a nurse with COVID-19 was able to work at a Rockhampton aged-care home before testing positive for the highly infectious virus.

Dr Young will today interview management of the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre on their running of the centre that is now in lockdown, after 115 residents and 180 workers were put at risk.

It is expected she will personally check that residents have been moved to their own rooms, as directed, as they wait out two weeks of isolation to see whether a coronavirus cluster emerges.

Accompanied by Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles, Dr Young is also expected to check the facility's pandemic plan, other protocols in place and how often temperature checks were being performed on staff, after the nurse apparently passed that testing while sick.

 

Ambulances queue outside the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre to transfer patients.
Ambulances queue outside the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre to transfer patients.

 

She will also investigate what explicit directions the nurse was given upon being tested to self-isolate, after she continued to work following her COVID-19 test.

The move came as Opposition health spokeswoman Ros Bates called for the investigation to be made public, as well as guarantees that elderly residents at the state's 15 other aged-care homes were safe.

"It's a copout to blame the nurse who tested positive to coronavirus," she said.

"This is a State Government-run home and the Health Minister needs to take full responsibility."

 

Dr Young will today address whether serology tests - which detect signs of the body's immune response to the virus - will be used to try to trace any earlier cases of COVID-19 in the com­munity, with officials still unsure how the nurse contracted the virus.

But it can be revealed that the woman had not been actively nursing while ill, instead working in a reception role due to an earlier injury.

 

Another 138 tests came back negative yesterday, with authorities awaiting another 37 results.

There have been no positive results for any of the woman's contacts so far, and wider testing is being con­ducted, as Rockhampton ­residents are being asked to come forward if they have any symptoms.

 

 

It is believed the woman may have been exposed in Brisbane, when she travelled for a medical appointment.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said yesterday that it was "not acceptable" for anyone to go to work sick.

"Honestly, a nurse should know better," she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Managers in firing line as COVID-19 probe begins

Chief Health Officer of Queensland Dr Jeannette Young and Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles were flying to Rockhampton to investigate. Picture: Richard Walker
Chief Health Officer of Queensland Dr Jeannette Young and Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles were flying to Rockhampton to investigate. Picture: Richard Walker

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