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The Queensland outbreak total now stands at 79
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says state has 'while to go'
'A lot' of kids with Covid-19 currently in hospital.
Queensland has recorded 27 new Covid-19 cases as its biggest outbreak since the first wave in 2020 grows.
Eleven are overseas acquired and have been found on board a ship off Gladstone. Most of the crew are vaccinated and are being cared for on the shop, the state's Deputy Premier Steven Miles said on Thursday.
Sixteen new local cases are all linked to the Indooroopilly Delta cluster in Brisbane.
The state has not seen such a large jump in new cases since April 4 last year.
Three of the new cases are students at Ironside State School and nine are household contacts linked to the school. A teacher, a student and a person linked to Brisbane Boys Grammar have also tested positive.
Only three of the new local cases were infectious in the community for one day and one was infectious for two days, Mr Miles said. The Queensland outbreak total now stands at 79.
The state recorded 16 new local cases on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, while investigating a solitary Delta case in Cairns that is not linked to the Indooroopilly outbreak.
Authorities are still hopeful of lifting lockdown restrictions by the end of the weekend.
They are pleading with Queenslanders from the Gold Coast to Noosa to only go out for essential items, and even consider limiting online shopping.
"We need at least the next couple of days to see what happens with this outbreak but what we know is that, when we work together, we can do this," Mr Miles said on Thursday.
Queensland Covid: 'While to go'
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said on Thursday that the small number of cases who were infectious in the community is "fantastic news."
"We did not expect to be this far in front of the virus," she said, adding that there is still a "while to go".
"This is Queensland is coming together brilliantly and working with us. We have still got a long way to go but we have done really, really, really well until now so let's see how we go in the next few days.
"Let's see if we can lift those restrictions on Sunday. That would be extremely special to be able to do that on Sunday and I am hopeful we can."
Dr Young urged people to keep coming forward for testing, setting a task of at least 50,000 a day.
"We still need people, over 7000 of them, to remain in quarantine and not leave for any reason unless it is an absolute dire emergency. We need everyone to play their part, if everyone continues to keep paying their part as they have been, it is encouraging."
Queensland Covid: 'A lot' of kids in hospital
Dr Young sad on Thursday that there are "a lot" of kids with Covid-19 currently in hospital.
"They are not particularly unwell, but they need to be in hospital and thank goodness we have got the Children's Hospital, which is one of the best hospitals in Australia for children.
"So I am very confident that we can manage them there or in one of those other hospitals that have now had a lot of experience in managing Covid in children."
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said officers had handed out 253 masks and issued 66 penalty notices to people not abiding by public health orders.
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