Coronavirus crisis: Qld lockdown extended amid 13 new cases
Millions of Queenslanders will have to stay at home until at least Sunday with the State recording 13 more locally acquired cases of COVID-19.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says contact tracers need more time to run down transmission lines at high-risk exposure sites including six schools and public transport routes.
An initial three-day lockdown had been due to lift on Tuesday afternoon. The Ekka, Queensland’s annual agricultural show, has also been cancelled for a second consecutive year.
The new cases are all linked to the existing cluster that began when a 17-year-old student from Indooroopilly State High School tested positive.
One of the cases announced on Monday was active in the community for six days while infectious.
Dr Young says it’s inevitable that there will be many more positive cases before the effects of the lockdown kick in. Currently 31 cases are linked to the cluster.
She’s still trying to work out exactly how the virus has spread but genomic sequencing has shown some of the infections in the cluster match the infections in two returned overseas travellers.
Two other cases were also reported on Monday - both involving crew members of a a bulk carrier off the Queensland coast.
The extended lockdown applies to the 11 local government areas that were also covered by the initial three-day stay-at-home order.
“That will make it an eight-day lockdown,” Acting Premier Steven Miles told reporters.
“We desperately hope that that will be sufficient for our contact tracers to get ... absolutely anyone who could have been exposed to the Delta strain.”
Mr Miles said everyone must stay home and only leave for essential reasons.
“Just because you worked through previous lockdowns doesn’t mean you should work through this lockdown,” he told Queenslanders.
Dr Young said she could not understand why anyone would be working in an office today, saying all such workers should be at home.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath urged businesses not make workers turn up unless they were truly essential and said food shopping is essential, but retail shopping isn’t.
“Please don’t just rely on what you know have been the lockdown rules previously, this lockdown is harder for a good reason: we’re trying to save lives,” she said.
Home learning will begin for state schools on Tuesday, and private schools are making similar arrangements. Schools will remain open for the children of essential workers.
Treasurer Cameron Dick announced $260 million in financial support for small and medium businesses hit by the public health orders.
Payments of $5000 will be available for businesses hit by the current lockdown in southeast Queensland, lockdowns in other states and border closures.
The lockdown is in place in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset and the Sunshine Coast.
People are only allowed to leave their homes for essential shopping, healthcare, essential work that cannot be done from home, care-giving, exercise within 10km of home or getting a COVID-19 test or vaccine.
COVID-19 exposure sites have been listed in Bellbowrie, Chapel Hill, Jindalee, Indooroopilly, Ipswich, Kenmore, Moggill, Mount Gravatt, Oxley, Pullenvale, South Brisbane, Spring Hill, St Lucia, Sunnybank, Taringa, Toowong and Yeerongpilly and Wilston.
One case also flew to Rockhampton and worked at Rookweir while infectious last week.
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