Covid-19: Lockdown in Greater Brisbane after four new community cases

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There are four new community cases of Covid-19 in Brisbane, of which two are from an unknown origin.

A healthcare worker tests a person at a drive-through Covid-19 testing clinic on the first day of a snap lockdown at Murarrie in Brisbane on January 9.

A healthcare worker tests a person at a drive-through Covid-19 testing clinic on the first day of a snap lockdown at Murarrie in Brisbane on January 9. Photo: AFP

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said six of the new cases today were acquired overseas and four were local – two of those were linked to a 26-year-old landscaper from Stafford who tested positive to the highly infectious UK strain on Thursday night.

Two of the cases have an unknown origin.

Greater Brisbane will now go into a three-day lockdown as of 5pm today.

This includes the Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Moreton and Brisbane council areas.

“Two are known cases of one of the previous people, then we have two under investigation but we believe one of them is a nurse from the PA hospital,” Palaszczuk said.

“Now what this says to us is the fact that there are now more community transmission and these people have been out and about in the community.

“And that is of, now, concern to Queensland Health and of course concern to me.”

One of the other new cases, a man, had been infectious in the community while in Gladstone from 25 to 27 March.

He visited locations including Gin Gin Bakery, Miriam Vale Star Roadhouse and Caravan Park, Stockland Gladstone Coles and Auckland House.

Masks will be mandatory in any location indoors – except in the home, if you have a medical exemption or if you’re doing strenuous exercise – and on public transport and in ride share vehicles.

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Outside of Greater Brisbane, masks will be required in crowded areas where you physical distancing is not possible, inside and on public transport.

People in Greater Brisbane will only be able to leave their homes for essential reasons like grocery shopping, exercise, work and medical care.

Only two visitors are allowed at homes – outside of Greater Brisbane, gatherings are limited to 30.

Young said schools and childcare centres would remain open for children of essential workers.

Palaszczuk said a three-day lockdown was necessary.

“This is the UK strain. It is highly infectious,” she said. “We need to do this now to avoid a longer lockdown.

“This will also enable our health authorities to get on top of the contact tracing.

“This is a huge job now that we have to do because we’ve got more of this community transmission.

“I know this will mean some disruption to people’s lives but we’ve done this before and we’ve got through it over those three days in the past and if everyone does the right thing, I’m sure that we will be able to get through it again.”

Anyone who has been to Greater Brisbane since 20 March needs to follow the lockdown restrictions.

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Health Minister Yvette D’Ath urged everyone to get tested for any symptoms.

“We have had over 11,000 tests in the last 24 hours so we thank everyone for coming forward for those tests and we want that to continue,” she said.

There was 11,626 tests carried out on 6130 people yesterday, with the majority from the Brisbane city region.

Cluster reaches seven cases

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the new cases meant the department was now dealing with seven cases from the most recent cluster.

“The initial two gentleman, and now a brother of one of those that we think could be that link between the PA doctor who was infectious two weeks ago and this cluster,” she said.

“Then we have two colleagues of the second new case that tested positive yesterday, and one of those people was in Gladstone for three days while they were infectious.”

She said very late last night she was notified of another case, who was the PA hospital nurse who worked in the Covid-19 ward.

“But I’m not sure that’s where she’s acquired it. We will have to wait for genome sequencing results,” she said.

“Her sister is also positive, and we’re not sure where the transmission has happened there.

“They have recently been in Byron Bay during their infectious period.

“So we now have significant community transmission and significant numbers of venues of concern all through Brisbane.”

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They attended a number of venues last Friday and Sunday.

People who were at the Byron Beach Hotel on Friday night and The Farm restaurant on Sunday are being told to get tested and isolate until further notice.

Two new testing clinics are being set up in the town.

The lockdown restrictions will be reviewed on Wednesday night.

Palaszczuk urged people not to panic buy and said supermarkets were well stocked.

“I know in is a really big call, I know it is really tough,” she said.

“We have Easter coming up, we have school holidays coming up but let’s do it now and let’s do it right, and let’s see if we can come through it at the other end.”

The Premier has declared Greater Brisbane a hotspot and has urged other state and territory leaders to do the same.

ABC

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