Brisbane braces for coronavirus spread amid rush to trace new cluster
Ms Palaszczuk is expected to provide an update on the situation on Sunday morning.
Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said more COVID-19 cases would be detected over the weekend following the small surge on Saturday.
“This is precisely what we have been planning for,” Mr Miles said.
“If there are cases out there, we hope we find them.
“It is people’s willingness to go and get tested that will ensure that we do find them so that we can isolate them, treat them, contact anyone who has been in contact with them and avoid any further spread from this outbreak.
“Our contact tracers are working and have been working through the night.”
New gathering restrictions introduced on Saturday morning banned house parties and outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, the Scenic Rim, the Lockyer Valley, the Moreton Bay region and Redland Bay.
The tough new restrictions, which have not been in place since April, will affect about three million people.
Aged care and disability accommodation in greater Brisbane and Ipswich have also been placed in lockdown.
The six new cases linked to Brisbane Youth Detention Centre cluster
- A man from Marsden who works at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre in Wacol
- A man from Carindale who works at the centre
- The wife of the man from Carindale
- A man from North Ipswich who works at the centre and in disability accommodation
- A relative of the man from North Ipswich who was also in the Ipswich Hospital
- A woman from Forest Lake who works at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre in Wacol
These rules do not apply to venues with a COVID-safe plan, such as bars and restaurants, prompting many to head out on Saturday night out of fear stricter measures were on the way.
“I am going out tonight and drinking like it is the last Saturday I will be able to until Christmas,” 24-year-old Claudia, who did not give her surname, told Brisbane Times on Saturday afternoon.
“I have a lot of friends in Melbourne who are trapped at home and I feel like that is about to happen here so I guess it is like a last hurrah.”
On Saturday morning, Ms Palaszczuk said it was still OK for people to visit bars and restaurants this weekend, as long as they didn’t breach the 1.5-metre social-distancing rule.
“My message to young people is, if they’re going somewhere that has a COVID-safe plan, that’s fine,” she said.
“If you’re thinking about having a party at home, that is not fine.”
Ms Palaszczuk and her frontbench had planned to fly to Cairns on Monday morning, but postponed the trip for one week to deal with the outbreak.
What can I do to reduce my risk of coronavirus infection?
- Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
- Stay at home if you feel sick. If you take medication, make sure you have enough.
- Phone your doctor or the hotline – 13HEALTH – if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
- Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep.
- Wearing a face mask is not necessary if you are well.
- Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with more than 60 per cent alcohol.
Lydia Lynch is Queensland political reporter for the Brisbane Times