The Queensland Premier is refusing to rule out extending the Brisbane lockdown over the Easter long weekend, or widening it to include the Gold Coast.
It comes after a male entertainer performed at a hen’s party in Byron Bay on the weekend, where he is believed to have contracted coronavirus from an infected nurse and her sister, before unknowingly bringing it back into the city.
The man then worked as a tradie at the TriCare nursing home in Mermaid Beach on Monday, before being informed he was a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.
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The cluster linked to the Brisbane nurse, who is believed to have acquired the virus at work, now stands at nine cases, while another cluster linked to a Brisbane doctor stands at six cases.
Dozens of venues across Brisbane have been listed as exposure sites, while a number of new venues on the Gold Coast were also identified as exposure sites overnight.
It’s sparked fears the Gold Coast could soon be heading into the same Brisbane-style lockdown in a bid to curb any further potential spread of the virus.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said no decision has been made yet.
“The big question will be whether or not we see unlinked community transmission, so it’s a day-by-day proposition… but that is why this three-day lockdown in Brisbane is absolutely necessary.
“So our contact tracers can get on top of this as soon as possible… So It depends on what we see over the next 24 to 48 hours”.
Meantime, the State’s top doctor said she will be looking closely at exactly where the infected tradie has been on the Gold Coast.
“I need to see what venues have been involved in other parts of the state and whether we have any transmission in those venues before we look there,” Dr Young said.
“At the moment we don’t have unknown community transmission and all our cases are confirmed close contacts of either cluster.”
Dr Young said the growing clusters highlights how critical it is for people to come forward and get tested, even if they have the mildest symptoms.
“Now it is critical, that anyone, anywhere in Queensland with symptoms comes forward for testing and that we maintain our vigilance with mask-wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene,” she said.
The Greater Brisbane lockdown, which is due to end at 5pm on Thursday, is due to be reviewed tonight – with many people eagerly awaiting to see whether or not their easter plans can go ahead.
Experts are warning there’s a strong possibility Greater Brisbane will be spending Easter couped up in their homes, with the same circumstances looking possible for Gold Coast residents.