Nine new Qld cases, virus link unclear
A COVID-positive high school student in Brisbane has the same virus strain as two travellers in hotel quarantine but the link between the groups is unclear, health authorities say.
Queensland reported nine new local COVID-19 cases on Sunday as the state’s southeast bunkers down under a three-day lockdown.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said all nine cases uncovered were connected to the Indooroopilly cluster.
It was the highest number of daily infections in almost 12 months.
The Indooroopilly cluster now numbers at least 18 people and Mr Miles implored more Queenslanders to seek virus testing, with fewer than 12,000 tests conducted on Saturday.
Authorities hope to see at least 40,000 daily tests.
Chief health officer Jeannette Young said there was no clear link yet between a Indooroopilly High School student who caught the virus and two people in hotel quarantine in Brisbane.
One of the people was from Indonesia and the other from the UK.
Dr Young said it was likely the traveller from Indonesia infected the other traveller at some point, and that the outbreak commenced in the Sunshine Coast region.
“I suspect that is where this outbreak started and then has reached a critical level where it has started to escalate and we had picked up at the escalation point,” Dr Young told reporters.
“I still think there will be cases there in the Sunshine Coast we don’t know about and if we don’t find them, they will continue to spread.”
Dr Young said an infected medical student may have brought the virus into the Indooroopilly High School student’s home.
She added authorities would gauge their success by the number of COVID-19 cases who were active in the community.
Not all of the nine cases were in isolation while infectious.
She also said the widespread use of masks - including in schools - had aided in suppressing COVID-19 cases.
Mr Miles declared a “go hard, go early” response to the outbreak on Saturday after six new cases were linked to the high school student.
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 harshest restrictions the sunshine state has seen at 4pm on Saturday.
Residents in affected areas can only leave home for essential work, study or child care, to exercise, buy food and supplies, and receive healthcare, including being tested for COVID-19 or vaccinated.
Non-essential travel must be within 10km 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, Brisbane Girls Grammar School and Brisbane Boys Grammar School.
Queensland Police said it doled out 28 infringement notices on Saturday for public health order breaches.
Exposure sites can be viewed at qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/contact-tracing
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