There are growing fears southeast Queensland’s three-day lockdown will be extended, possibly for as long as 14 days.
The state’s latest cluster grew to 18 cases on Sunday after nine infections, with the Chief Health Officer warning the situation was “rapidly escalating”.
One of the new cases is a Brisbane woman who flew to Rockhampton last week to work on the Rookwood Weir project.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
The woman was on Qantas flight QF2362 to Rockhampton on July 28 and flew back to Brisbane on Qantas flight QF 2365 on July 30.
Work on the Rookwood Weir project has been stopped and all workers have been told to isolate for 14 days.
All of Sunday’s cases are linked to existing ones, but officials still have not found the missing link between a medical student who tested positive and two returned travellers with the same genome sequencing, one who was being treated in hospital on the Sunshine Coast.
The state’s top doctor fears there are undiagnosed cases in the community on the Sunshine Coast, pleading with people to come forward for testing.
Less than 11,500 tests were carried out on Saturday which officials say is nowhere near high enough to give them any peace of mind.
Authorities want daily testing numbers of at least 40,000.
The list of exposure sites continues to grow rapidly, with at least six schools now caught up in the outbreak.
The southeast Queensland lockdown is scheduled to be lifted at 4pm on Tuesday but discussions were reportedly underway on Sunday to extend that.
Infectious Diseases expert Paul Griffin warned that people should be prepared for it to go beyond three days.
“I would think that with the number of additional cases overnight, the additional schools that the chance of this ending after three days is fairly low,” Professor Griffin told the ABC on Sunday.
“But of course we need everyone to do the right thing so that we can get on top of it as quickly as possible and be out of lockdown as soon as it’s appropriate.”