Queensland has recorded no new local cases of community transmission in the last 24 hours while officials believe they have now found the missing link to the original cluster.
Eight cases were recorded overnight, seven from hotel quarantine while one is a historical case.
A nurse who is a close contact of one of the infected people in the P.A Hospital cluster has been found to have previously had the virus.
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It’s believed they were infectious between March 10 and 23 despite having no symptoms.
Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young says the nurse contracted COVID from a returned traveller in hospital.
“He was the gentleman who came from Europe and was admitted and transmitted the infection to a doctor, now, he’s also transmitted it to a nurse, and then the nurse, again, through absolutely no fault of her own has then gone home and transmitted to her partner, who is one of that group that we know who live in that north Brisbane area and a close social network,” Dr Young says.
“She is definitely the missing link and that is a friendship group. We all know our friendship groups and they have been so good at coming forward and sharing that information.”
The nurse had not yet been vaccinated as it was still the early days of the vaccine rollout when she became infectious.
Dr Young has described the discovery of the missing link as a “huge relief”.
“I always say, let’s find the first case in a cluster, not the 40th and that will stop us then having hundreds of cases. So it’s been an enormously successful process in terms of people coming forward and sharing information with us.
“When you don’t know the links, when you know there’s still something out there, I’m just never sure what else could be going on, what other chains of transmission, what other friendship groups could there be, what other venues.”
Dr Young has also announced that household members of health care workers who deal with COVID patients will now be eligible for a COVID vaccination as part of the current Stage 1B of the rollout.
Police have also confirmed there was a breach at the P.A Hospital on Thursday.
A female patient was supposed to be isolating at the hospital after being treated by an infected nurse.
But she was somehow able to leave.
Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski says officers tracked her down later in the day.
“Health had identified a person had left the Princess Alexandra Hospital, we tracked that person down yesterday at New Farm. She’s been returned under quarantine direction to the PA hospital.”
The woman is understood to have returned a negative test result.
There are currently 82 active cases being treated in hospitals in Queensland.
More than 35,000 tests were carried out in the last 24 hours.