We may never beat virus: Qld's top doctor

Queensland CMO Dr Jeannette Young will oversee coronavirus measures at a Rockhampton aged care home.
Queensland CMO Dr Jeannette Young will oversee coronavirus measures at a Rockhampton aged care home.

Queensland's chief health officer has warned the coronavirus may never be eradicated, as health officials work to avoid a possible outbreak at an aged care home.

The North Rockhampton Nursing Centre remains in lockdown after a nurse tested positive to COVID-19 on Thursday.

The woman returned to work while awaiting the results and despite having symptoms.

Health Minister Steven Miles and Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young arrived in the central Queensland town on Monday.

An internal inquiry into the incident is already under way but Mr Miles announced he has also ordered an independent investigation to stop it from happening again.

All patients and staff, except for one who is on leave, have tested negative to the virus.

However, as a precaution, 35 residents have been temporarily relocated to nearby hospitals so those potentially exposed can self-isolate in their own rooms.

Dr Young said the outcome of the investigation would determine what happened to the nurse.

"Since she had that confirmed result, she has been extremely co-operative and has worked very closely with us and indeed agreed to a second test," she said.

Mr Miles called for understanding and reminded people there was a person behind the uniform.

"Clearly a mistake has been made," he said.

"We will deal with that appropriately but I'm eager to avoid a witch-hunt."

Queensland recorded two more cases of coronavirus overnight, taking the number of active cases to 13.

The two women, from Brisbane and the Scenic Rim, had recently returned from overseas.

Dr Young said officials had been unable to determine how 42 of Queensland's 1057 total cases, including the Rockhampton nurse, had contracted the virus.

"They're the cases that worry me," she said.

"It's unlikely that we will ever beat this virus, we'll have to find ways of managing it."

Dr Young said she believed borders should not reopen until other states had experienced two incubation periods without any new cases.

"The best case scenario is July, but I think that is very, very unlikely and that is what I have advised the premier," she said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has come under attack from her NSW counterpart Gladys Berejiklian after she told a Monday morning news program Queensland's border may not reopen until September.

"We have to get real to the fact many parts of the world will remain closed for a long period of time," Ms Berejiklian said.

"But if we in Australia can at least open up our internal borders, I think that will help everybody."

Ms Berejiklian said the sooner people could travel to other parts of Australia, the quicker the economy would recover.

Australian Associated Press