Woman fined after climbing balconies to escape hotel quarantine in Cairns, Queensland, records new locally acquired COVID-19 case
A woman in quarantine after returning from Sydney reportedly climbed fourth-floor balconies to access an outside staircase at the Pacific Hotel in Cairns to escape quarantine, Queensland Police said.
- Police say woman fled hotel quarantine to visit her mother
- She faced a Cairns court this morning
- Six new cases of COVID-19 were recorded yesterday, a local gain
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the woman, who lived in Cairns, had been arrested and charged.
“A 22-year-old woman who came from Sydney on July 1, quarantined in a hotel in Cairns, was reported missing yesterday,” he told reporters in Brisbane.
He said police examined security camera footage to determine how she fled the hotel.
“It appears that this person climbed two balconies, descended an outside staircase, and then damaged a door to escape,” he said.
“We think she was successful, so she was pretty motivated.”
“As soon as he was discovered, the police carried out an investigation and the 22-year-old man was found last night in Cairns,” Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said.
The woman was found at her mother’s house.
She faced Cairns Magistrates’ Court this morning for violating public health guidelines, unregulated high-risk activity and intentional damage and was fined $ 2,500.
Convictions have been registered on all three counts.
Acting Chief Superintendent Chris Hodgman of the Cairns Police Department said the woman was “reckless” for climbing outside the hotel.
He said neither police nor health officials believed she posed a risk of infection to the Cairns community.
“This is the second time this has happened in a matter of weeks that people have put their lives at risk to exit the Pacific Hotel,” he said.
“I would describe him as dangerous – reckless – and the young woman will be appearing in court today on very serious charges that were not to be a part of her life.”
On June 18, a man who had just arrived in Cairns from Victoria also climbed a balcony railing in an attempt to escape the hotel’s quarantine, but was injured in a fall.
He had to be taken to hospital.
A new case of community COVID
Meanwhile, Queensland recorded six new cases of COVID-19 overnight, with one of those cases being acquired locally.
Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said the case in the community is linked to the existing Alpha cluster.
“She is a close contact of the man we reported yesterday from Sinnamon Park (in Brisbane),” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“She lives in Kangaroo Point and is currently in home quarantine.”
Chief health officer Jeannette Young said the young woman was a nursing student.
“She was picked up and quarantined yesterday, then tested and found positive,” Dr Young said.
“She’s doing perfectly fine. Asymptomatic, which means we can’t identify the onset of her infectious period, so we’re back to when she first had contact with the man who lives in Sinnamon Park, that’s that is, June 26.
“I think it’s unlikely that she was contagious at the time but, to be absolutely sure, we’ve come that far back.”
More than 5,000 in home quarantine
Dr Young said 6,664 people had been identified as contacts of existing outbreaks.
“With 5,177 people in home quarantine and over 3,000 in our hotels,” said Dr. Young.
“So we have a lot of people doing a lot of hard work.
“Thank you to everyone who meets the requirements for home quarantine.”
More Pfizer Doses Coming This Month
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said Queensland would receive an additional 200,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine this month.
“We will receive 64,350 Pfizer vaccines per week every week in July, which is the state’s allowance for our clinics,” said Ms. D’Ath.
“That’s an additional 10,000 over what we were getting every week in June. For July, state-run clinics will receive an additional 40,000.
“GPs will receive 168,480, so it is correct that for Queensland as a whole, over 200,000 additional Pfizer vaccines will arrive in the state.
“People can start looking for where there is a GP to book for Pfizer or an AstraZeneca vaccine throughout the month of July, or they can continue to look to enroll at a state-run clinic in there. ‘future and we encourage people to do so and we will contact everyone already registered to inform them of the availability of reservations. “
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