One new case of COVID in Qld, new hotline set up to deal with medical border issues

QUEENSLAND has recorded just one new case of COVID-19, as health authorities continue to monitor the prison cluster in the south east.

The person is a close contact of one of the already-confirmed cases connected to the Correctional Services training academy.

Health Minister Steven Miles said the infected person has been in quarantine and is believed to have only been in the community for two days.


“This is really the best we can hope for .. very small numbers of people already identified as contacts and already in quarantine and, therefore, of relatively low risk of continued spread,” Minister Miles said.

Minister Miles said it appeared the south-east cluster was “under control” but still urged people to stay vigilant and get tested immediately if they developed any cold or flu symptoms.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said one new case was good news for the state.

“We’re very happy with that,” The Premier said.

“In the last 24 hours, over 6,800 tests were conducted and once again we encourage anyone who has any symptoms to, please, go and get tested. It is absolutely imperative to go and get tested.”

There are 27 active cases in Queensland at the moment, down from 28 yesterday despite the new case.

The Premier also announced the Chief Health Officer was in the process of setting up a co-ordinated response, including a hoteline, to assist people navigate border exemptions to access healthcare in Queensland.

The unit, which will be set up by the end of the week, will include social workers, nurses and doctors in a bid to steamline the border exemption application process.

It follows a number of issues involving people in New South Wales trying to get to access to specialist appointments and hospital care.

“I understand how distressing this is,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“So we’re going to set up this hotline to make sure that we can deal with it – to coordinate with the families in a timely manner and then they’ll be prioritised with the chief health officer.

“As you appreciate, our chief health officer, Dr Young, has a lot to do at the moment, focusing on keeping Queenslanders safe, and by setting up this coordinated response by the end of the week, I
actually think that it will help alleviate a lot of concerns.”

It comes as the Premier stands firm on the hard border closures, despite more pressure from the federal government over the last 24 hours to open up the border to areas that aren’t considered a ‘hotspot’.

“I’m not going to be moved on this,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“The Federal Government can throw whoever they want at that, we can have Clive Palmer as well, but I’m not going to be moved because fundamentally the health of Queenslanders is my number one concern.

“You and you can’t have a strong economy .. you can’t have the economy growing .. unless you have the health under control.”

Meanwhile, the Health Minister hinted the restrictions on gatherings in homes on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Darling Down will likely remain in place for weeks.

He said there would need to be 1-2 incubation periods, between 14 and 28 days, after there have been zero cases in the community before the restrictions can be lifted.