Brisbane Covid outbreak grows as worrying exposure revealed

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·News Reporter
·3-min read
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  • Concerns over infectious truck driver

  • Masks reinstated in two LGAs

  • 'Tragic' death of man in hotel quarantine

Queensland is on high alert after four new local cases of coronavirus were detected in the Brisbane region as concerns grow over a truck driver infectious in the community.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters on Tuesday the truck driver, among the state's new cases, was infectious in the community for about a week.

She said another of the cases is a man who works in aviation who lives in Eatons Hill who was infectious in the community for three days.

"The second case is his wife and the third case, which Dr [Jeannette] Young is a little bit more concerned about, is a truck driver who was living in shared accommodation but has been infectious in the community for around a week," she said.

"The police are speaking to this truck driver to get some more information from him."

A woman walk past signage at a Covid-19 vaccination hub at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in Brisbane.
A woman walks towards the Covid-19 vaccination hub at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in Brisbane. Source: Getty Images

The fourth case is someone who tested positive after 14 days in hotel quarantine. She is unrelated to the other cases and is considered part of a separate cluster.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath added the truck driver has been infectious since September 19.

"This is a time when we need to watch very closely, and of course, the hours and the next couple of days will be crucial in people coming forward and getting tested," she said.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette said the truck driver stayed at accommodation in South Brisbane and two more hotels in Spring Hill. 

She said authorities are considering requesting those who stayed at the South Brisbane accommodation at the same time as the man go into hotel quarantine because the accommodation has shared bathrooms and kitchens.

Masks reinstated in two LGAs

Residents and people in Brisbane City and Moreton Bay LGAs will have to wear masks indoors for the next two weeks.

"I think everyone is very comfortable with masks and we know that they protect and I am also comfortable with the amount of testing that is happening," Dr Young said.

"And I know now that we have had this announcement that the amount of testing will significantly increase.

The premier said seven truck drivers have entered Queensland and been infectious in the community since August 24.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk during a press conference at a pop-up vaccination hub at Brisbane International Cruise Terminal in Brisbane.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state as four new cases of community-transmitted coronavirus. Source: AAP

"From 15 October it will be mandatory for all truckies using the freight pass to have one dose," she said. 

"By 15 November they'll need to have their second dose."

Queensland also reported two new overseas cases of Covid-19.

Earlier, a public health alert was issued by the state government for exposure sites in Eatons Hill, Albany Creek, Aspley and Rocklea.

Dr Young said at this stage she does not believe the cases warrant another lockdown.

A decision is yet to be made whether the NRL Grand Final will be rescheduled or moved. At this stage, kick-off is planned for Sunday evening.

'Tragic' death of man in hotel quarantine

Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Chelepy told reporters an Australian man died in hotel quarantine.

"I am not able to go into any more detail," he said.

"What I will say the matter is under investigation by police. It will be referred to the coroner following that investigation and we are engaging with the coroner at the moment. 

"I would like to acknowledge the response of the police and health staff and our other agencies and hotel staff that are working at the hotel for their response to that tragic matter."

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