The Chronicle

Southeast on brink of further lockdown


SOUTHEAST Queensland is on the brink of another lockdown as the list of exposure sites from two mystery outbreaks grows and authoritie­s warn a spike in cases could force swift action.

Tough mask mandates have already been reinstated in Brisbane and Moreton Bay in response to an unvaccinat­ed truck driver testing positive after he was unknowingl­y infectious in the community for eight days, and a vaccinated aviation worker also contractin­g the virus.

The Gold Coast was on Tuesday added to that mask mandate after two people were infectious while in the community.

Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said “large numbers” of cases in the coming days could trigger a lockdown – the first since July 31 when six community cases were deemed enough to warrant stay-at-home orders.

On Tuesday, after announcing another case linked to an aviation worker, Dr Young elaborated saying a “large number of cases, community spread and unlinked cases” would prompt a lockdown.

“Of course, I always consider a lockdown, and then I

work through what we need to do, at this stage I do not think a lockdown is warranted, that could change,” she said.

“I do have a reasonable level of concern.

“I’m really, really, very comforted by the fact that people do know how to respond and respond very, very quickly.”

Infectious disease expert

Paul Griffin – who investigat­ed the Prince Charles Hospital outbreak – said he would be convinced a lockdown was “unavoidabl­e” if there were high number of exposure sites and close contacts, as well as more unlinked or mystery cases.

On Wednesday morning, workers from Woolworths in Eatons Hill were reportedly contacted by Metro North

Health after an infected case visited the supermarke­t between 9:30am and 10:15am on Saturday, September 25.

It is believed that those workers have not been told to isolate, however.

Last night, more than a dozen exposure sites were listed on Queensland Health’s website including the Adalong Student Guesthouse where the truckie stayed while infectious along with 25 other people, who were bussed out of the accommodat­ion about 6pm yesterday.

The fresh Covid scare was sparked late on Monday night when Queensland Health revealed a man who works for an aviation training site tested positive – despite not travelling interstate or overseas – and had been in the community, including at a childcare centre.

Hours later it emerged his wife had also tested positive, but authoritie­s were more worried about an unrelated truck driver who stayed at three locations in Brisbane including the guesthouse where bathrooms are shared.

Dr Young said it was not known how the truckie or the aviation worker contracted the virus. But she said the aviation worker likely had contact with internatio­nal pilots through his job.

A returned traveller from Timor Leste also tested positive five days after completing her 14 days in hotel quarantine, however authoritie­s are looking at whether this could be “light shedding” as opposed to being a new case.

Dr Griffin said Queensland­ers could not assume our run of luck would continue, especially as it is one of the lowest vaccinated states in the country.

 ?? Photo: Sam Scott ?? ON ALERT: Pathology testing staff leave Adalong Guesthouse in South Brisbane after a guest tested positive.
Photo: Sam Scott ON ALERT: Pathology testing staff leave Adalong Guesthouse in South Brisbane after a guest tested positive.

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