The employee, who is vaccinated and was wearing a mask, worked a half-day on December 21 while infectious.
The five staff on that day were forced into one week of isolation and instructed to get a test immediately, and again on day five.
But many of Ms Elita’s staff were waiting up to five days for their results, meaning they were isolating for a lot longer than necessary, forcing her cafe out of action at the busiest time of the year.
Maria Elita, who owns the Frigg Café and Catering business with stores in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, was forced to shut her Manly West venue for a week on December 23 after a staff member tested positive
She is now hoping Thursday’s National Cabinet meeting will bring about new changes to isolation rules, while also calling out the government for not putting her venue on the Covid contact tracing site.
‘We’ve been told cases are going to keep happening, it’s out of control. Once one case is cleared we will have another and another, how many times do we close the doors?’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
Ms Elita reopened the Manly West cafe on Wednesday but is only serving drinks through a takeaway window.
On an average day, the café will have between five and nine staff working, so with five already in isolation, it wasn’t feasible to open.
Her two other stores in Labrador and Ascot too had to close over Christmas, Boxing Day, the 27th and the 28th, with outdoor dining only just resuming in these shops.
‘The 24th is our busiest day of the year and we had to close,’ Ms Elita said.
‘We are right outside a Woolworths so it’s extremely busy for us.’
Ms Elita said she hoped isolation rules may be modified so she wouldn’t have to keep shutting her down her store for weeks on end.
‘I think a lot of people are thinking Queensland went from hero to zero very quickly,’ she said.
‘I know the southern states have been dealing with this for longer and I feel for them. We’ve just been thrown into it.
‘Now that Omicron is here and borders have opened up, we need to change the goalposts and move forward.
The café owner hopes Thursday’s National Cabinet meeting will bring about changes to isolation rules, while also calling out the government for not putting her venue (pictured) on the Covid contact tracing site
‘If I have a sick staff member I don’t want them working here, but we have to have something in place that doesn’t shut us down every five minutes when there’s actually a low possibility of having a Covid-positive person.’
She said she was most upset about her venue not being listed on the Covid-19 exposure sites.
The café owner said hospitality venues were deemed ‘high-risk’ and couldn’t understand why the industry dealt with so many Covid rules if not all venues were listed online.
She said it was left to her to post updates on social media to inform any customers that they may have come into contact with a case.
‘I understand they can’t put everything down but you’re telling us we’re high risk and I have to do all these mandates, then we deserve the respect to be put on a site that says we had a positive Covid person,’ Ms Elita said.
‘We aren’t financially reimbursed to follow the rules, I have to pay staff extra to do that.
Queensland recorded 2,222 new Covid infections on Thursday
‘We’ve been police checked and Covid audited five times and passed with flying colours. I’ve spent the past 18 months doing everything the government has asked me.
‘It’s a s**tshow.’
Queensland Health said amid the increase in cases, it wasn’t feasible to trace every contact of every case.
‘Our contact tracers are working tirelessly to identify thousands of people and venues connected to Covid-19 cases,’ they said.
‘However, we know it is not feasible to continue contact tracing every contact of every case, particularly in lower risk situations.
‘Going forward, we will be limiting the exposures sites we publish to venues of most concern, including settings where vulnerable people may be infected.
‘Household and close contacts continue to be prioritised. If all close contacts can be identified and contacted, the venue may not be listed online.
‘Given the rapidly rising case numbers in all parts of the state, we are asking Queenslanders to assume they are at risk of developing Covid-19 no matter where they are and take precautions such as wearing a mask in public and physically distancing from other people.
‘We are still urging people to check the contact tracing page and use the Check In App when they enter venues, especially if you are considered vulnerable.’
Queensland Health said they are prioritising high risk venues on their contact tracing site (pictured in Brisbane)