Contact tracers scramble after backpacker hostel COVID case

Queensland Health officials are scrambling to contact people who may have crossed paths with a positive COVID-19 case in Brisbane.

The West Australian man touched down in Australia from the Phillippines and completed a two-week stint in hotel quarantine.

During his stay in mandatory quarantine, the man returned three negative COVID-19 tests and was released.


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He then became unwell while staying at a backpackers hotel in Brisbane’s CBD, and has now tested positive for the virus.

The man is believed to have been infectious in the community since last Thursday, sparking fears of another potential outbreak.

Public Health alerts have been issued for two backpackers hostels in Brisbane as contact tracers work around the clock to track down everyone who may have been exposed.

“These backpackers, when we follow up with them, could have gone anywhere in the state,” Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said.

More than 50 guests at Brisbane City Backpackers and the neighbouring Joes Place Backpackers, both on Upper Roma Street, have already been placed into lockdown.

It’s unclear how the man caught the virus, with authorities suspecting it may have been another leak in hotel quarantine.

Genomic testing due back today should shed further light on how he contracted it.