Pressure on for speedy and transparent investigation
Queensland's Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles wants two investigations into the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre, one by the CQHHS and a second independent review by the director-general to be carried out "faster than usual".
While over 700 Rockhampton residents were tested on the weekend - and a second positive test on the nurse who tested positive last week dispelled any possibility of a false-positive result - questions remain regarding how the case made its way into the facility.
The future employment of the nurse who tested positive, and whether management knew about her initial test but allowed her back to work is still under investigation.
Mr Miles has confirmed the independent investigation into the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre was to help understand "what went wrong" and to make sure "it never happens again".
"That internal investigation will be undertaken by the HHS but as I've outlined, we will have an independent investigation," he said.
"The director-general is finalising the terms of reference and who he will appoint to do that investigation."
"The findings of that recommendation will be made public, I think it's incredibly important, I think it's also important that the investigation happen faster than these kinds of investigations would usually take - often health service investigations can take months.
"This situation is different, if there are systemic findings out of this investigation that mean we need to make changes in process and procedure at our other facilities, we need to know now. We can't wait months and months - I am eager for it to happen very rapidly."
Mr Miles and Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young are today interviewing management of the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre regarding the running of the centre that is now in lockdown, after 115 residents and 180 workers were put at risk.
This comes as some opposition voices make calls for transparency around the investigation.
Among those, the LNP candidate for Keppel Adrian DeGroot who wanted assurances that safety procedures were established to protect residents and staff at all 16 state government run aged care homes across Queensland in the wake of the North Rockhampton breach.
"It is easy to blame the nurse who tested positive to coronavirus, this is a state government run home and the Health Minister needs to take full responsibility," Mr de Groot said.
"Our elderly Queenslanders are the most vulnerable to coronavirus and residents across all 16 state-run homes must be the priority and we cannot have two sets of rules.
"Less than a month ago the Premier threatened to name and shame aged care operators breaching the rules but has been caught out by a bungle in her own backyard."
The state government is urging anyone in Rockhampton who believe they have or have had any symptoms to get tested immediately. Dr Young said nobody will be turned away from a fever clinic if they cannot prove they have or have had symptoms.