Queensland‘s Covid-19 outbreak has continued to spread with 13 cases of community transmission announced at the state’s Monday morning Covid update.
Deputy Premier Steven Milles said Queensland’s lockdown would be extended until 4pm next Sunday as a result of the new cases.
Brisbane’s Ekka would also be cancelled for a second consecutive year.
Seven of the new cases are students from Ironside State School. Another five are related to the school being household members or family contacts.
One case is linked to a confirmed case from the karate school that trains at the school.
‘For us to come out of this at the weekend, we need absolutely everyone in those LGAs to stay at home if they can,’ Mr Miles said of the extended lockdown.
‘It is absolutely critical that people only leave their homes for the four reasons. There’s too many cars on the road in Brisbane at the moment. Too many people out and about.’
Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles provides the state’s Covid update on Monday morning
People seen exercising in Brisbane on Monday morning as the state announced its lockdown would be extended until next Sunday, 4pm
Cars are seen queuing at a Covid testing facility in Brisbane on Monday morning. Deputy Premier Steven Miles said 21,806 tests were conducted on Sunday but he hoped the number would double at the start of this week
Mr Miles confirmed home learning would be in place from Tuesday for the rest of the week for students of Queensland’s state schools.
‘Private schools will largely also have similar arrangements.’
He said he knew cancellation of Brisbane’s agricultural show, the Ekka, would be ‘disappointing’.
‘I know that’s sad and disappointing for many, many Queenslanders who love their annual ritual, their annual trip to the Ekka,’ he said.
‘We just can’t afford to have an event like that where people travel into town, circulate in large numbers. The risk is just too great.’
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski confirmed 29 penalty infringement notices had been issued in the last 24 hours for non-compliance with public health directions.
‘Eighteen of which were people who were out of lockdown when they had no valid reason,’ he said.
‘We had another two breaches of restrictions within homes, so unauthorised party type scenario.
‘One person refusing to wear a mask when they didn’t. A couple of border breaches. Three persons disobeying a direct direction from an emergency officer, so that’s a police officer. And three breaches of public health directions.’
The Deputy Commissioner described the breaches as ‘disappointing’.
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick also announced a $260 million support package for Queensland businesses at the Monday update.
‘We’ll be opening an 2021 COVID Business Support Program,’ he said. ‘That will be $5,000 grants available to Queensland businesses – not just businesses in the locked down area.
Mr Dick said the grants would also be available to large businesses who operate in Queensland’s extensive hospitality and tourism industries.
Chief health officer Jeannette Young said she still did not know how the virus had been transmitted from two overseas travellers to the family of the schoolgirl from Indooroopilly State High School who tested positive last Friday.
Queensland’s chief health officer Jeannette Young said she still did not know how the virus had been transmitted from two overseas travellers to the family of an Indooroopilly State High School student
Police check a member of the public for compliance with lockdown orders in central Brisbane on Monday morning
‘All I know is that we had two people arrive from overseas into the Brisbane International Airport on June 29, and subsequently, those two people were found to have the Delta variant with a particular whole genome sequence.
‘Now this outbreak, 29 additional people later, are all clustering with those two.
‘But I don’t know how it’s got from those two original people to this household of five who are the first people that I’ve found in the cluster.’
Deputy Premier Miles said 21,806 tests were conducted on Sunday after he’d expressed disappointment about the number conducted on Saturday.
‘I set the goal of doubling our numbers into the 20,000s and the chief health officer set the goal of double that again into the 40,000s and we would certainly hope that we can start to get close to those kinds of numbers on a Monday with more of those clinics open.’
He confirmed some Brisbane hospitals were rescheduling some Category 2 and 3 elective surgeries, and specialist outpatient appointments, in order to provide care for Covid patents.
‘They will be determining the level of critical services that can be supported with their workforce and are making assessments about less urgent activity,’ he said.
Earlier, it appeared Queensland’s outbreak may have spread beyond south-east Queensland after an infected contractor made a return trip to Rockhampton on a Qantas flight – as part of the state is plunged into a three-day lockdown.
The woman was working on the Rookwood Weir when she flew to the regional town for work at 8.30am Wednesday and returned to Brisbane at 6.40pm on Friday.
She tested positive on July 31, but it is believed she was infectious from July 28 and was included among the Sunshine State’s nine local cases announced on Sunday.
Dr Young said at Monday’s update that the incident had not so far led to a transmission event.
‘It’s really important that anyone in Rockhampton with any symptoms just comes forward and gets tested,’ she said.
Walkers seen in Brisbane’s CBD on Sunday as south-east Queensland began it’s first day of a snap three-day lockdown. Experts expect the lockdown to be extended as cases continue to grow in the state
People queue up for a Covid-19 test in Brisbane, Queensland on Monday morning
An empty King George Square in central Brisbane pictured on Sunday after 11 LGAs in south-east Queensland entered a three-day lockdown from 4pm last Saturday afternoon
People who were QF2362 at 8.30am on July 28 and QF2365 at 6.40pm on 30 July are being contacted by authorities (pictured: a Qantas flight at Brisbane Airport)
‘Work on site has stopped and workers have been isolated to their rooms for 14 days of quarantine,’ Queensland Health said in a statement.
‘Other workers from the Rookwood project who have left the site have also been contacted and told to isolate for 14 days.’
Other workers who have been at the site have been contacted and told to isolate.
Authorities are also contacting people who were on QF2362 at 8.30am on July 28 and QF2365 at 6.40pm on 30 July.
Rockhampton’s Central Queensland University fever clinic has extended its testing hours.
Queensland’s nine new cases on Sunday represented the highest number in almost a year.
Pictured: People attend a Covid Testing Centre at Indooroopilly High School, Brisbane on Sunday
There are more than 80 exposure sites linked to the outbreak, with about 20 new sites of concern listed on Sunday.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles had implored more Queenslanders to seek virus testing, with fewer than 12,000 tests conducted on Saturday.
Long lines were seen at testing clinics on Monday morning.
The local government areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim entered the lockdown on Saturday afternoon – which has harshest virus restrictions the Sunshine State has seen.
Residents in affected areas can only leave home for essential work, study or child care, to exercise, buy food and supplies, and receive health care, including being tested for COVID-19 or vaccinated.
Non-essential travel must be within 10 kilometres of residences and everyone must wear a mask when outside their home.
All schools in the lockdown zone will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, while all staff and students of Indooroopilly High School and Ironside State School are in quarantine for two weeks.
Other schools affected by the outbreak include St Peters Lutheran College, Brisbane Girls Grammar School and Brisbane Boys Grammar School.
Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said: ‘The purpose of the lockdown is to stop the virus spreading.’
‘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 experts believe it will almost certainly be extended after six cases on Saturday and nine on Sunday.
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.
‘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.