Six additional COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in a burgeoning cluster at Brisbane's youth detention centre, prompting Queensland health authorities to limit indoor and outdoor gatherings.
Queensland reported nine new cases on Saturday, three of which in crew members on cruise ships and the other six connected to the detention centre.
Children at the Wacol centre, in Brisbane’s southwest, remain in lockdown and tests continue after a worker was diagnosed on Wednesday.
The 77-year-old Ipswich woman had experienced mild symptoms and continued to work while infectious.
The centre's 127 residents have been in lockdown since Wednesday evening.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Saturday announced indoor and outdoor gatherings in the state's southeast would immediately be capped at 10 people.
She said this affected people in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay, and Redlands.
There would be a 30-person limit on gatherings elsewhere in the state.
"We're concerned about this (detention centre) cluster because people have been out and about in the community," Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.
“What we need Queenslanders to realise, especially those in southeast Queensland, is that if you have any symptoms whatsoever, we need you to get tested now.”
Additional clinics would be established across southeast areas to aid in testing, Ms Palaszczuk said.
“This is a very important time, especially over the next couple of days, and of course we do expect there may be more cases linked to this cluster,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk added aged-care facilities in the southeast Queensland area would go into lockdown too.
“The other measures we're putting in place today (Saturday) as well is that aged-care homes will also, in those regions, go into a lockdown. They were contacted overnight. And that is immediately taking effect,” she said.
The detention centre will not be taking new admissions, and all face-to-face visits and court appearances have been cancelled, with all residents and staff present since August 8 to be checked.
Authorities face a nervous wait to discover if the latest cases are linked to an outbreak triggered by two Logan women who allegedly dodged quarantine following a visit to Melbourne in June.
The cases mark Queensland's first locally-acquired transmissions in more than a month.
Queensland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeannette Young said on Saturday the new cases were residents of Bundamba, Marsden, Carindale, North Ipswich and Forest Lake.
Meanwhile, pressure mounts on the government to relax Queensland's hard border closure amid concerns for the health needs of NSW-Queensland border communities.
"Lives are really being disrupted and you've got to ask why when the medical advice is not saying that is what is needed," Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told the Nine Network.
Dr Young denied on Friday elimination was the state's COVID-19 strategy.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.