Queensland has recorded nine new Covid-19 cases with its snap three-day lockdown likely to be extended as the outbreak spreads between several schools.
Deputy premier Steven Miles revealed it was the largest increase in cases recorded in the state in the past 12 months.
‘The last time we were at this level was at August 22, (2020)’ he said during a press conference on Sunday.
His statement echoed previous comments made by chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young who warned it was the ‘biggest outbreak in months and risks being our biggest ever’.
Of the new cases, four are linked to a karate school, one to Brisbane Boys Grammar, two cases to Indooroopilly State High School and two to Ironside State School.
Dr Young defended the decision to plunge eleven local government areas into lockdown with Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim residents confined to their homes.
‘The purpose of the lockdown is to stop the virus spreading,’ she said.
‘So it is to have everyone in their homes, as we find people, we find them in their homes, and they will have minimal exposure out in the community.’
The lockdown is set to end on Tuesday though fears have been raised it could be extended.
Dr Young admitted restrictions would only be rolled back when case numbers were down and all of the cases were not out in the community while infectious.
Queensland has recorded nine new Covid-19 cases with its snap three-day lockdown likely to be extended as the outbreak spreads between several schools
Deputy premier Steven Miles revealed it was the largest increase in cases recorded in the state in the past 12 months (pictured, Brisbane residents walking ahead of lockdown)
Of the new cases, four are linked to a karate school, one to Brisbane Boys Grammar, two cases to Indooroopilly State High School and two to Ironside State School (pictured, nurses at Covid-19 testing clinic)
‘The threshold is that I’m confident that all the cases that potentially have been exposed are safely in quarantine and are unlikely to end up having been infectious out in the community so unlikely to have been out there spreading,’ she said.
Health minister Dr Yvette D’Ath said not enough people were coming forward for testing after only 11,468 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.
‘Yesterday, I talked about the number of cases New South Wales has, over 3000. What I am more concerned about is the number 14. New South Wales has recorded on average one death every three days,’ she said.
‘We cannot be complacent, we want more people coming out of testing. We will be putting out on many social media platforms today, where you can find testing sites in your local area.’
Two high schools – including the prestigious Brisbane Grammar School – are the latest to be caught up in the Covid outbreak in Queensland.
On Saturday night, parents from BGS, which charges almost $28,000 in fees each year for students in years 7-12, were notified a pupil had tested positive to the virus.
Anyone at the school’s Spring Hill campus on July 28, 29 and 30 was ordered into home isolation until further advice was provided by Queensland Health.
The development comes as St Peters Lutheran College in Indooroopilly, in Brisbane’s west, also sent out an email to parents confirming the school had been identified by Queensland Health as a possible exposure site.
Mater Hospital Director of Infectious Diseases Paul Griffin warned there was a ‘fairly low’ chance restrictions would be eased on time given the spread of the virus.
‘I would think, with the number of additional cases overnight, the additional schools, that the chance of this ending after three days is fairly low,’ he told Courier Mail.
The lockdown is set to end on Tuesday though fears have been raised it could be extended
Eleven local government areas have begun their first day of lockdown with Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim residents confined to their homes
The lockdown is set to end on Tuesday though fears have been raised it could be extended as the state braces for more Covid-19 cases with two prestigious schools recording positive cases (pictured, Brisbane Grammar School confirmed a pupil had tested positive to Covid-19)
Among the venues added to the growing list of exposure sites are a Coles supermarket, numerous chemists and even a handful of bus routes.
Oxley, in Brisbane‘s south-west, has three fresh exposure sites – an Aldi supermarket, (Sunday 25 July, 8.55am to 9.25am) Chemist Warehouse (Sunday 25 July, 9.10am to 9.30am) and a Country Markets (Sunday 25 July, 8.30am to 9.10am).
Jindalee’s Coles, (Thursday 29 July, 2.55pm to 3.15pm) also in the south-west, a McDonald’s (Sunday 25 July, 6.20pm to 6.55pm) and a Terry White Chemmart (Thursday 29 July, 3pm to 3.20pm) in the same suburb were also exposed.
The same applies for Highgrove Bathrooms in East Brisbane (Thursday 29 July, 11am to 11.25am) and the Southbank TAFE (Wednesday 28 July, 6pm to 9pm) in South Brisbane.
Brisbane Grammar School has been identified as a possible Covid exposure site – parents were informed via email on Saturday
St Peters Lutheran College in Indooroopilly was also identified as a possible Covid exposure site in Queensland
Anyone who caught the route 66 bus from the UQ lakes bus station to the PA Hospital bus station on Wednesday July 28, between 12.20pm and 12.40pm has also been added to the list.
So too has the route 29 bus from the PA Hospital bus station to UQ lakes bus station on the same day, from 2.30pm to 2.50pm.
Another bus route on the exposure site list is the 412 from Sir Fred Schonell Drive in St Lucia, southwest of the CBD, to UQ Chancellor’s Place at the University of Queensland for Friday July 30, between 9.45am and 9.55am.
The Indooroopilly Shopping Centre has become a site of interest for authorities, namely Myer, H and M, Target, Kmart and Seed Heritage for Thursday 29 July, between 8.30am and 11am.
Additionally, two new casual contact exposure sites have been added for Mount Gravatt, in Brisbane’s south.
Coles Jindalee, in Brisbane’s south-west, has been named as a Covid exposure site by Queensland Health
Both are for Bunnings Warehouse, with one on Wednesday July 28 between 7am and 7.35am and the other on Thursday July 29 between 12.30pm and 1.05pm.
Late on Saturday evening, even more casual exposure sites were confirmed, including two women’s public toilets at the Indooroopilly Shopping Centre.
Any person who has visited any of the identified sites is urged to get tested for Covid immediately.
They must also remain in quarantine – even after receiving a negative result – for 14 days from when they were last at the venue.
The lockdown has impacted more than three million residents, with NRL, AFL and Super Netball games all cancelled on Saturday across the state.
Aldi in Oxley, (pictured) also in Brisbane’s south-west, is a confirmed Covid exposure site – after six positive cases overnight, many parts of Queensland were plunged into a three-day lockdown
The Terry White Chemmart in Jindalee (pictured) has been identified as a Covid exposure site in Queensland
The 11 LGAs affected include Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Noosa Shire, Redland City, the Scenic Rim Regional Council, the Somerset Regional Council and the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.
Residents living can only leave home for four reasons including for essential goods, to provide or receive care, for essential school and work, and exercise.
Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the state had no choice but to impose the harsh restrictions.
‘We have seen from the experience in other states that the only way to beat the Delta strain is to move quickly, to be fast, and to be strong,’ he said.
‘This will be the strictest lockdown that we have had.’