Genetic analysis will be used to determine whether a young Townsville woman who tested positive to coronavirus in Melbourne, was infected in Queensland or Victoria.

Queensland Health Minister and Deputy Premier Steven Miles said scientists would compare samples of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, that were found last week in Townsville sewage and swabs taken from the woman.

"Our scientists are working right now to see whether we can match the genome sequencing of the wastewater test result to this woman," Mr Miles said.


Queensland Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles. Photo: Alix Sweeney
Queensland Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles. Photo: Alix Sweeney

The Townsville resident, in her 30s, tested positive after arriving in Melbourne on October 7 to be with family while receiving medical treatment.

Tests for the pandemic virus were a required element of the medical care she was due to receive in Victoria.

Queensland health authorities suspect the woman became infected in Melbourne. She had been in Victoria for several days prior to her positive result.

Queensland Health yesterday issued a public health alert for several Townsville health services, including the Icon Cancer Centre, Mater Day Surgery and NQ Vascular.



Her treating doctors are among at least 14 Queenslanders who have been placed in quarantine and are waiting test results for SARS-CoV-2 as a precaution.

"We know health care environments are very risky," Mr Miles said.

"We're being very, very cautious.

"She's not showing any symptoms of COVID-19. That's why it's challenging for us to identify when she may have been infectious because she appears to be one of these asymptomatic cases."

The woman had been on Flight QF 2302 from Townsville to Cairns on October 3 and on Flight VA 782 from Cairns to Brisbane on October 6.

Passengers on both those flights are urged to monitor their health and to get tested for the virus if they develop symptoms, however mild.

Mr Miles said Queensland continued to monitor coronavirus cases in NSW and Victoria "very, very closely".

NSW recorded 13 new cases of the virus yesterday, including three where the source could not be traced, while Victoria had 10 new infections, including one so-called mystery case.

Queensland has just two active cases of the virus, both of them in Brisbane, compared to 31 in NSW and 186 in Victoria.

In the latest 24-hour testing period, 5628 samples were analysed for the pandemic virus in Queensland, including 274 in Townsville.


Details of Queensland's latest public health alert:

September 28 4-5pm, Icon Cancer Centre, Hyde Park, Townsville.

September 29, Mater Day Surgery, Hyde Park, Townsville.

September 30 1-2pm NQ Vascular, Pimlico, Townsville.

October 1, Mater Day Surgery, Hyde Park, Townsville.

October 3, Flight QF2302, Townsville to Cairns.

October 6, Flight VA 782, Cairns to Brisbane.





Originally published as Doctors in quarantine after woman tests positive