news

"Isolate immediately": What you need to know about Brisbane's new COVID-19 cases.

Queensland Health contract tracers are once again in overdrive after the state recorded two community cases of COVID-19.

A 26-year-old landscaper tested positive for the virus late Thursday night, and on Saturday it was announced that a close contact of the man has also been diagnosed.

Genomic sequencing linked the landscaper's case to that of a Princess Alexandra hospital doctor who was diagnosed on March 12.

However, with no apparent contact between the pair, the source of the man's infection remains a mystery.

Here's what we know so far.

The new cases.

The landscaper is currently being treated in isolation in hospital for the more-infectious UK variant of COVID-19.

He began to develop symptoms on Monday and remained home before testing positive on Thursday.

His infection has been tied to that of the Princess Alexandra hospital doctor who had contracted the virus from returned travellers earlier this month, ending the state's two-month streak of no community transmission.

The doctor had visited four venues in Brisbane's south while infectious. 

However, on Friday, Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said it was likely the new case had caught the virus from an intermediary who is yet to be identified.

There are limited details available about the second case, but it's understood the man is a friend of the landscaper.  

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said he is working with the state's Public Health Unit to assist in contact tracing.

ADVERTISEMENT

Exposure sites.

More details about the new case's movements are expected in the next 24 hours.

Meanwhile, it's known that the first case — the landscaper — was moving around the community for several days before becoming symptomatic.

As a result, multiple exposure sites have been named by health authorities, the most significant of which is Mamma’s Italian Restaurant in Redcliffe. Anyone who was at the venue between 12:30pm and 3:10pm on Saturday, March 21, is considered a close contact. They must isolate immediately and call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

Ten other venues are listed as casual or low-risk contact sites, including Westfield Carindale, and Bunnings and ALDI in Stafford. 

For up-to-date details on exposure sites and times, visit the Queensland Health website.

ADVERTISEMENT

The response.

The landscaper's infection sparked another lockdown of Brisbane's hospitals and aged care homes.

The partial lockdown, which kicked in at noon on Friday, won't end for a week and affects hospitals, aged care facilities, prisons and disability services providers in the Brisbane City and Moreton Bay council areas.

Health authorities in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania have advised anyone who visited the Queensland exposure sites against entering the states.

People who have visited a high-risk site or area since March 12 and have already travelled interstate are advised to self-isolate and contact public health authorities.

The advice saw several staff and fans forced to leave Friday night's AFL match between Geelong and the Brisbane Lions at Victoria's GMHBA Stadium.

A Victorian Department of Health message flashed up onto the stadium's billboards at quarter time, ordering anyone impacted to leave. Among those required to vacate the ground was former player Wayne Carey who was on the Channel Seven commentary team.

Victorian Government health advice flashed up during Friday night's AFL match in Geelong. Image: Getty. 

On Saturday, Western Australia ramped up its border rules, mandating that any travellers arriving in the state from Queensland must be tested for COVID-19 and self-quarantine for 14 days or until they return a negative test.

ADVERTISEMENT

The "interim border control" will be in place until at least 12:01am on Tuesday, March 30.

What happens next?

Comprehensive contact tracing is underway, and there is currently no indication that further public health restrictions will be put in place.

People in the Brisbane and Moreton Bay council areas are advised to wear a mask in crowded locations, such as supermarkets and shopping centres, and to maintain social distancing and personal hygiene measures.

"We are very comfortable with things as they are at the moment, and Queenslanders have responded very well," the Premier said on Saturday.

"So if everyone keeps up their testing and contact tracing, we’re very comfortable where we are."

Anyone who's been in the Brisbane area since March 12 and has even the mildest symptoms is urged to come forward for testing.

"We know that the gentleman who tested positive on late Thursday night was highly contagious," Chief Health Officer Young said. 

"We, therefore, cannot afford to be complacent — if you have any COVID symptoms at all, please come forward and get tested."

— With AAP.

Feature Image: Getty.

Want to win $50? Take our 5 minute survey now: 

MMSurvey


00:00 / ???