Queensland has recorded its highest number of new coronavirus cases in more than two weeks.
The state’s daily COVID-19 cases leapt to eight on Wednesday, with all of the new infections linked to existing clusters southwest of Brisbane. There are 29 active cases in Queensland.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urged people not to be alarmed by the number, which is the highest since August 22 when nine new cases were recorded.
She said all but one person were already in isolation when they tested positive.
"From the outset, I want to assure Queenslanders that although that number is our highest daily tally for some time, each of those people diagnosed is related to existing cases," she said.
"This is not a time for alarm - this is a time to thank that our testing system is so professional."
Three of the new cases are linked to Ipswich Hospital, growing that cluster to eight infections, while five are linked to an outbreak at a Queensland Corrective Services training facility in Waco.
Health workers are "aggressively" tracing contacts of people potentially exposed to an outbreak at the hospital and more than 200 staff remain in isolation.
A health alert has been extended to another two venues after an infected person visited Ipswich Garden Centre and a nearby Coles in Karalee about lunchtime on September 4.
St Edmund's College in Ipswich has also been closed for two days after a year 11 student tested positive.
A letter has been sent out to parents informing them the Catholic boys’ school would shut immediately to undergo cleaning and contact tracing.
Premier defends CHO over border closures
The surge in cases comes after Ms Palaszczuk was forced to again defend the state’s hard coronavirus border closure, attacking the LNP opposition over criticisms levelled at the state's chief health officer.
"The treatment of (Dr Jeannette Young) has been a complete and utter disgrace," she told parliament on Wednesday.
Ms Palaszczuk said she had sympathy for people unable to visit loved ones in hospital during the border lockdown, saying she had also been unable to visit her uncle when he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Thousands volunteer for COVID vaccine trial
More than 7,000 Queenslanders have volunteered to be part of a coronavirus vaccination trial conducted by the University of Queensland.
Minister for State Development, Tourism and Innovation, Kate Jones, said the university had the capacity to produce a vaccine by mid-2021.
An Australian-produced vaccine could prove vital, Ms Jones said, after pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca paused its COVID trial on Wednesday following a "potentially unexplained illness" in one of the trial participants.
Australia has ordered 33 million doses of the Oxford University vaccine to be rolled out from early next year if the trials prove successful.
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