Virus nurse referred to CCC after aged care drama

A ROCKHAMPTON aged care nurse has been referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission after an alleged breach of public health directions during the coronavirus pandemic.

The enrolled nurse at the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre tested positive to the virus last week and has been placed in isolation.

Queensland Health launched an external investigation after it emerged the nurse had gone to work despite having symptoms and had also returned to the aged care facility after being tested for the virus.

North Rockhampton Nursing Centre. Photo: Levi Appleton
North Rockhampton Nursing Centre. Photo: Levi Appleton

 

The department has confirmed the matter has been referred to the CCC and the nurse involved has been suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation.

"The most important thing is that every single Queenslander knows that if they have symptoms they should get tested immediately and stay at home until the tests are returned," a department spokeswoman said.

 

"It would not be appropriate to engage in further public commentary regarding the circumstances until all investigations are complete."

The Courier-Mail understands the CCC was notified as the case involved an alleged breach of Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young's public health directions.

A Queensland Health spokeswoman said the department was in the process of finalising the terms of reference for the external investigation.

Initial tests for all residents and staff at the nursing home have all come back negative. More test results are expected back during the weekend.

"Our focus remains on controlling COVID-19 and reducing its spread and protecting North Rockhampton Nursing Centre residents and staff, and the community, from infection," the Queensland Health spokeswoman said.

The aged care nurse is suspected to have contracted the virus while on a trip to Brisbane for a medical appointment.

She was working at a nurses' station with floor-to-ceiling glass and is understood to have had minimal contact with nursing home residents.

 

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young. Photo: Dan Peled.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young. Photo: Dan Peled.

 

Dr Young said a "massive number of tests" had been carried out in Rockhampton since the nurse's positive test.

"We didn't find any cases in the community and we're now one week down the track and none of the staff have got sick and none of the residents so that's really, really reassuring," she said.

"We're not out of the woods yet but I'm much more comfortable with where we are now than where we were a week ago."

Originally published as Virus nurse referred to CCC after aged care drama


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