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.