UPDATE @ 9.00am | TWO new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Queensland including a corrective services officer who trained other guards.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the news on Thursday morning, following reports of a positive test overnight.
The prison trainer, who works at the QCS Academy in Wacol, tested positive yesterday, prompting the lockdown of some Queensland correctional facilities.
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“He trained 14 recruits and there were also 11 colleagues [he had contact with]. All of those people have been tested and they are in quarantine,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“As a precaution some of our corrective services facilities have gone into lock down.”
Commissioner of Queensland Corrective Services, Peter Martin, said the Forest Lake local was temperature tested when he came into work on Friday morning but started feeling unwell later that afternoon.
“He did the right thing, he absented himself form the workplace,” Mr Martin said.
“Over the course of the latter part of the weekend, he further developed symptoms and he took himself off for testing.”
As a result of his positive test, QCS moved to implement Stage 4 lockdown measures late on Wednesday, which includes significantly limiting any unnecessary movement in and out of the prisons, at facilities from Capricornia down into the south east.
It’s not known how long the lockdown will stay in place.
“Stage 4 restrictions will be in place until the Chief Health Officers advises us that it’s not required,” Commissioner Martin said.
Chief Health Officer, Doctor Jeanette Young, said the prison officer did not do any work at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, where there have been 11 connected cases, but she admitted the proximity of the new case suggest they could be linked.
“This person lives in Forest Lake and works in Wacol and we know we’ve had virus in both those locations,” Dr Young said.
All detainees at the centre have been tested and all tests have come back negative. Some staff at the facility are still waiting for results.
Genomic testing on the origins of the detention centre cluster have also been completed but didn’t turn up definitive results.
Early indications suggested they were linked to the two Logan woman who allegedly lied about travelling to Melbourne back in July, bringing the virus back into the state.
“Although they match almost perfectly, there’s one very small change between the two,” Dr Young said.
“So we can’t say definitively that those two cases are linked but we can’t say they’re not. So that’s where we’ll have to leave that one.
“We’re still working to see, through contact tracing work, whether we can find any link between the two clusters.”
The second case was a Cairns resident who has been in hotel quarantine following their return from Papua New Guinea.
Health Minister Steven Miles said the case was “not a concern in terms of local infection.”
EARLIER @ 7.00am | A Queensland prison officer has reportedly tested positive to coronavirus, forcing all of the state’s correctional facilities into lockdown.
It’s understood the guard returned a positive result yesterday, and had last reported for duty on Friday.
While there are reports the person had trained a number of other guards who were then deployed to other facilities, prompting concerns of widespread transmission.
The state has been forced to put all correctional facilities into stage four lock down, while authorities launch widespread contact tracing measures.
Queensland Health has not yet confirmed whether the case is linked to the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre cluster, which currently sits at 11.
Authorities are expected to provide further details in this morning’s update.
It comes as the list of locations on the state’s health alert are updated, following the one new case reported the day before.
Related article: HEALTH ALERT: Updated list of locations Qld virus cases visited