Queensland authorities issue new COVID-19 public health alerts for Brisbane and Sunshine Coast

Note : the Premier and Chief Health Officer are refusing to say if lockdown will be lifted Monday, even if no new cases are recorded.

Infectious diseases expert Raina MacIntyre said if the Premier announced no further cases today, it was "probably reasonable" to lift the lockdown tonight — but she believed masks should remain mandatory until the 14-day infectious period had passed.

Greater Brisbane's lockdown continues, while Queensland Health has released new contact tracing locations in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

Any new cases connected to two separate people who were both diagnosed with the new UK strain of coronavirus — a woman who completed hotel quarantine in Melbourne and then travelled to Maleny on the Sunshine Coast, and a woman who works as a cleaner in hotel quarantine. Authorities yesterday said the Maleny woman was considered very low risk.

The Qld Government website keeps a list of coronavirus detected in waste water. Note that the results are charted in a week-by-week manner, so there's no way to tell whether there have been any positive tests during the lockdown period specifically.

Yesterday :  The UK strain is thought to be around 70 per cent more contagious than the original strain. That's 1.7 times more contagious

At around 8pm Saturday  night Queensland authorities added two new locations to its public health alerts.
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Queensland Health is asking anyone who visited Coles Sunnybank Hills Shoppingtown on 5 January 2021, between 0730-0800 or Woolworths Calamvale North on 3 January 2021 between 1100-1200 to get tested and quarantine for 14 days since attending those venues.

While the risk to Queenslanders is considered low, anyone who has been in these venues at these dates and times should monitor their health and if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms, even mild, get tested and isolate until they receive their test results.

 

Flight Airline Origin Destination Date of Arrival Arrival Time
JQ570 Jetstar Melbourne Brisbane 05/01/2021 23:00

Venues

Date Venue Location Arrival Time Departure Time
06/01/2021 Cappriccios Italian Pizza Restaurant

take-away only, waited outside.

Maleny 6:30pm 7:00pm
07/01/2021 Purple Palate Cellars Maleny 4:15pm 4:25pm
07/01/2021 Woolworths Supermarket Maleny 4:30pm 4:50pm
Maleny businesses shut down for deep cleaning as town goes on COVID alert

Locals in Maleny have been warned against "unnecessary hysteria" as Queensland Health continues to trace contacts of a woman who arrived in the Sunshine Coast town on January 5 with the more contagious UK variant of COVID-19.

On Saturday afternoon, Queensland Health issued a Public Health Alert, revealing that the woman had visited three sites in the town on January 6 and January 7.

They included Capriccio's Italian Restaurant, Woolworths and the Purple Palate Cellars.

Many events in the Sunshine Coast hinterland have been cancelled over the weekend including the Maleny Wedding Festival's "Summer Showcase" and Woodford's Bushtime, which was already a scaled-down version of the annual Woodford Folk Festival.

In Montville, close to Maleny, the monthly market was cancelled to avoid attracting visitors from Brisbane.

At 9 am CHO Dr. Jeanette Young: Excellent news overnight. No new cases in Queensland. That is fantastic, Queenslands come forward and got tested. The more we can do that, then we know that we don't have those chains of transmission occurring that we don't know about."

"So far we have had a total of 187 people come forward related to the cleaner who works at the Grant Chancellor, and 147 of those are close contacts, and we have also had those additional people. 122 of those 187 have already been tested and are negative, which is excellent."

"We have also been working with TransLink, using GoCard information on any CCTV footage available, so that we can work out who is a close contact and who isn't. But the most important thing is, individuals shouldn't be making the decision whether or not they are a close contact. They should come forward and then the public health people make a decision. That is critical. So those lists that I've read out, people won't necessarily be a close contact on all those lists, but they must come forward so that we can know who and where they are. It is very important."

"We have done genomic sequencing on all of them. And I have seen some of their results and I believe one was the new variant, but I would have to clarify. I know that some of them didn't have enough virus, so we couldn't do the genome sequence. But then, that is sort of reassuring, because that means it is unlikely they would then spread it. But those that did have enough virus to sequence, yes, we do have those results back."

"I think we are up to seven with the UK variant, and one with the South African variant."

"Protocols are currently being strengthened. So we have extended the time that we require somebody to stay in isolation when they are confirmed to have this virus. So it is now going to be 14 days, instead of the 10 days before.
Now, we've got to remember, and this is very complicated — quarantine is when you don't have the disease. And we require people to be in quarantine for 14 days from when they have [potentially] been exposed. So there is that. Then, once you have been confirmed to have the infection, prior to this new variant, we required people to be in isolation for 10 days or three days after they have had no symptoms, whichever is the longer.
So we put that in place, and we have not seen, in Australia, a single outbreak related to that protocol. So, early on, we had tighter protocols, till we worked out what was going on, and then we brought into a new protocol and we have had no problems.
Now, we have got a new variant, so we have to review all those protocols, which we have, so we've immediately put in place that people must remain in isolation for 14 days rather than 10 days, plus have an exit test. So that is now in place. It mightn't stay in place indefinitely, we will review and work out, but just again, but it's a precautionary principle, we have put in place immediately."

 

 

At 9 am Premier The Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk reported "So what we are seeing in the greater Brisbane area is large amounts of compliance, people are doing the right thing, and thank you everyone for mainly staying at home.

Can I remind people, if you do need to go to the shops to get a loaf of bread or some milk, put your mask on and you can go and do that. If you want to do a bit of exercise, please put your mask on and you can go into a walk around your neighbourhood.

It is a beautiful day out there, so please feel free to go and do those few things. But this has been a really great response from people in the greater Brisbane community, and we need to keep it up. Monday 6pm is the day and we will be updating you again tomorrow morning at nine o'clock to see how our cases have gone overnight as well.

I can also confirm that 147 close contacts of the cleaner, the hotel cleaner, have now been identified, and 112 of those have tested negative.

Queensland's flight cap is reduced to 500. "I received a letter yesterday from the premise to about our national cap numbers being reduced to 500, which I think is welcome -- from the Prime Minister. I think that is very welcome news and will help us manage things more closely."

Queensland won't be using rapid testing for hotel quarantine workers. They will do a PCR test once a week and a saliva test every shift: We won't be using rapid testing because it is not as sensitive. So we will continue to, because we have fantastic pathology services in Queensland and in Australia, we will continue to do that PCR test. But we will be using saliva rather than that the nasal swab, so everyone knows the swab going down the back of the nose, which is a little bit uncomfortable. So we will do that once a week, but that every shift test, when a person comes to work, will be saliva, so, a swab under the tongue."

 

 

 

At 9 am Queensland police have issued 15 people with penalty infringement notices in the last 24 hours

"Compliance has been exemplary. Thank you to the community in south-east Queensland and those areas impacted, and for what you have done to work with us. Police handed out over 700 masks since lockdown started on Friday afternoon.
There have been 15 penalty infringement notices in the last 24 hours, 21 since we started, a remarkably low amount. These have been for reasons like people having too many people at their homes, for example, a party that was broken up, and people occasionally refusing to wear a mask when police continue to offer them to people.
We saw protest activity in the city yesterday, where a 70-year-old person failed to follow directions. We have seen much better behaviour from retail outlets, particularly the shops, that is great, please keep that going. We have intercepted over 300 vehicles across the area, which isn't high, but police are out and about, making sure people are doing the right thing where they need to. That has included 150 on a Gold Coast road, and only four vehicles have been turned around, so that is very pleasing.
We saw nine persons on the Gold Coast that should have been in Brisbane, who had left, who were asked to return to accommodation on the coast, which they complied with. No further action was taken."
Post 9 am Jeanette Young elaborates on the new protocols around genomic testing in hotel quarantine
For people who are confused about why the woman who travelled to Maleny exited isolation in Melbourne 10 days after she was diagnosed with COVID-19, this is quite a clear explanation.
Protocols are currently being strengthened. So we have extended the time that we require somebody to stay in isolation when they are confirmed to have this virus. So it is now going to be 14 days, instead of the 10 days before.
Now, we've got to remember, and this is very complicated — quarantine is when you don't have the disease. And we require people to be in quarantine for 14 days from when they have [potentially] been exposed. So there is that. Then, once you have been confirmed to have the infection, prior to this new variant, we required people to be in isolation for 10 days or three days after they have had no symptoms, whichever is the longer.
So we put that in place, and we have not seen, in Australia, a single outbreak related to that protocol. So, early on, we had tighter protocols, till we worked out what was going on, and then we brought into a new protocol and we have had no problems.
Now, we have got a new variant, so we have to review all those protocols, which we have, so we've immediately put in place that people must remain in isolation for 14 days rather than 10 days, plus have an exit test. So that is now in place. It mightn't stay in place indefinitely, we will review and work out, but just again, but it's a precautionary principle, we have put in place immediately.

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