Greater Brisbane records zero new coronavirus cases overnight, as investigation into initial case launched
Queensland has recorded zero new cases of coronavirus overnight, as Greater Brisbane enters day two of its three day lockdown.
- The lockdown will not end early despite zero new cases overnight
- Changes have been made to hotel quarantine protocol after the latest breach
- New public health alerts have been issued for Greater Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has praised the efforts of locals, with only 20 active cases in the state, and more than 19,000 tests conducted in the past 24 hours.
A hotel cleaner who tested positive for the highly contagious UK variant of COVID-19, was the reason behind the region being plunged into lockdown.
Premier Palaszczuk said 147 close contacts of the cleaner have now been identified, and 122 have tested negative.
“We’re seeing large amounts of compliance in Brisbane and people are doing the right thing,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
She reminded people it was safe to go to the shops to get essential items, or to go for a walk, but a mask must be worn at all times.
Meanwhile, Queensland’s Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the lockdown would remain in place until 6:00pm tomorrow despite no new cases.
“I remind people they should be staying home tomorrow and working from home unless they’re an essential worker so we can get through this three-day period and hopefully have very positive results at the end,” Ms D’Ath said.
Investigation into how cleaner contracted virus
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said an investigation was underway to determine how the cleaner initially contracted the virus at the Hotel Grand Chancellor.
“I wasn’t that surprised that our first breach was because of this virus.
“Other states have had multiple situations where they’ve had the virus escape from their quarantine hotels and in most cases they have not been able to find out how that occurred.
“So I don’t know if we’ll find out how that occurred but we’re looking as hard as we can.”
Protocols in hotel quarantine have been strengthened as a result of this case.
Hotel workers will now be tested every shift instead of every seven days.
And return travellers in hotel quarantine facilities will now also remain in isolation for 14 days, rather than the initial 10.
“We’ve immediately put in place that people must now remain in isolation for 14 days rather than ten days and must now have an exit test,” Dr Young said.
“Now, we’ve got to remember, and this is very complicated — quarantine is when you don’t have the disease. And we require people to be in quarantine for 14 days from when they have [potentially] been exposed.
“Then, once you have been confirmed to have the infection, prior to this new variant, we required people to be in isolation for 10 days or three days after they have had no symptoms, whichever is the longer.
“Now, we have got a new variant, so we have to review all those protocols, which we have, so we’ve immediately put in place that people must remain in isolation for 14 days rather than 10 days, plus have an exit test.”
New public health alerts issued
Dr Jeannette Young reissued a call for people who may have come into contact with the cleaner at the below locations to come forward and get tested, even if they aren’t showing any symptoms:
- Train from Altandi Station to Roma Street Station at 7:00am on January 2
- Train from Central station to Altandi Station at 4:00pm on January 2
- Woolworths Calamvale North between 11:00am and midday on January 3
- Sunnybank Coles between 7:30am and 8:00am on January 5
- Nextra Sunnybank Hills newsagent between 8:00am and 8:15am on January 5.
“If you’ve been to any of those places it is still absolutely critical please immediately come forward, you need to get tested, we need to see you,” Dr Young said.
Meanwhile, several locations at Maleny, on the Sunshine Coast, have also been listed as potential exposure sites after a woman travelled there after completing hotel quarantine in Melbourne.
She was tested in Queensland on Friday and returned a positive result for the UK virus variant.
Dr Young has asked anyone who visited the following places in Maleny to get tested:
- Jetstar Flight JQ570 arriving in Brisbane at 11:00pm on January 5
- Cappriccios Italian Restaurant between 6:30pm and 7:00pm on January 6
- The Purple Palate cellars between 4:15pm and 4:25pm on January 7
- Woolworths Maleny between 4:30pm and 4:50pm on January
International arrivals into Queensland being capped
Police have intercepted more than 300 vehicles to make sure people are doing the right thing.
More than 250 businesses have also been checked for compliance.
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said police have handed out more than 700 masks since the lockdown began at 6:00pm on Friday.
“There have been some instances where we’ve had to take action, they’ve been reasonably low, in fact, remarkably low,” he said.
“We’ve issued 15 penalty infringement notices in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 21 since we started.”
Ms Palaszczuk said she had been in communication with Prime Minister Scott Morrison about international arrivals into Queensland being capped, and said she “welcomed” the news.