Covid Queensland: 16 new cases as mystery remains over infection 1700km away

·4-min read
  • Brisbane cluster grows to 63 cases

  • New case in Cairns not linked to the Brisbane outbreak

  • Health officials plead with people to 'stay home'

Queensland has recorded 16 new local Covid-19 cases all linked to the Indooroopilly Delta cluster, while mystery remains over a solitary case in Cairns.

Another two cases were found in overseas arrivals. 

Of the 16 new cases four were linked to Ironside State School including one teacher, two cases linked to Indooroopilly State High School, one linked to Brisbane Boys Grammar and nine linked to family contacts of those already infected in that cluster. The Indooroopilly cluster has grown to 63.

Two of the local cases were not in the community while infectious, which Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said is proof "the lockdown is working".

However, he warned that there are still people who have been breaching lockdown restrictions.

People line up for a Covid-19 test in Brisbane on Tuesday. Source: AAP
People line up for a Covid-19 test in Brisbane on Tuesday. Source: AAP

'Stay home – it's not the time to buy sun lounges'

"We are still seeing some people going out to shop or to browse for non-essential reasons and while there is an exemption to allow people to leave their homes to get essential groceries and medicines, that does not extend to other discretionary items. 

"Now, is not the time to buy outdoor furniture. There will be time before summer to get sun lounges. 

"I urge everyone again to consider whether the reason they're leaving their home is absolutely essential and if it's not, please put it off," Mr Miles said, adding that every time someone leaves their home they increase the risk of a lockdown extension.

Cairns case not linked to Brisbane outbreak

A 17th local case with no links to the Brisbane outbreak was reported in North Queensland on Tuesday afternoon, with contact tracing locations announced in 1700kms away in Cairns, Trinity Beach and Yorkey's Knob. 

The state's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said on Wednesday the confirmed Delta case is vaccinated male pilot who works guiding ships through the reef. She said he had received both doses of Pfizer in March.

Dr Young said it is likely that the man caught Covid from one of the ships he helps pilot but officials are still waiting on his genome sequencing result.

"It is not the Delta strain that is circulating in Brisbane and it hasn't clustered with any other known case of Delta in Queensland," she said, adding that his high CT values show he's carrying "very little virus".

His partner and their child have tested negative. 

Dr Young has encouraged people in Cairns to get tested.

"Any symptoms at all, please immediately come forward and get tested. That is absolutely critical," she said.

Officials also announced on Wednesday that with the EKKA annual agricultural show cancelled, the EKKA public holiday in Brisbane next Wednesday will not go ahead. 

Police check members of the public for compliance with lockdown orders in central Brisbane on Monday. Source: AAP
Police check members of the public for compliance with lockdown orders. Source: AAP

Almost 150 Covid exposure sites

The number of close contact exposure sites is approaching 150, with recent additions including Kmart, McDonalds and Aldi in Indooroopilly, a swim school in St Lucia and a netball court in Graceville, as well as a site on the Gold Coast.

Dr Young says high testing numbers are crucial with uncertainty remaining about how the outbreak is linked to the initial two cases who arrived from overseas in late June.

"It's really important so that we can just make sure that we don't have any other transmission events," she said.

There is still hope the lockdown that stretches from the southern border to Noosa will lift as planned at 4pm on Sunday.

"Everyone just stay at home if you can at all, and that way we'll get through this, and we can lift on Sunday. That's absolutely my aim," Dr Young said.

Meanwhile, Queensland Police are installing RBT-style roadblocks to ensure drivers have a valid reason for travelling.

"We'll start RBT-type stops at intersections to check if people are allowed out for a valid reason," Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.

"There is nothing to fear if people are doing the right thing."

With AAP

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