Brisbane hospital COVID ward still shut as engineers probe airflow

Brisbane hospital COVID ward still shut as engineers probe airflow

6th May 2021 Off By adpublisher

A ward at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital remains closed, more than a month after a COVID-positive patient infected three health staff.

Two nurses working on the 5D ward contracted the virus from a man who had returned from India, sparking two separate community clusters that forced greater Brisbane into lockdown just before Easter.

Two virus clusters both emerged in the PA Hospital ward where it cares for COVID patients.Credit:Getty

The patient also unknowingly infected a junior doctor who assessed him for potential admission to the hospital on March 10.

How the staff members became infected remained a mystery to health authorities investigating the breach.

Genomic testing has revealed all three staff were infected by the returned traveller, although the nurses had no direct contact with the patient.

The 24-bed infectious diseases ward, which was closed on March 30 when the PA Hospital was locked down, remains sealed.

A Metro South Health spokeswoman said the hospital was waiting for the outcome of engineering assessments before a decision could be made on when the ward would reopen.

“The closure of Ward 5D, which is a 24-bed ward, has resulted in a need to establish areas within the hospital to treat the patients who would normally be treated in this ward, which does have impacts on the hospital,” she said.

“The engineering report is being conducted by an independent engineering contractor and is expected to be received in the coming week.