One new COVID case as officials backtrack on ‘house party’ claims

Queensland has recorded one new local case of COVID-19 as authorities retract allegations an infected man hosted a large house party while infectious.

The latest case is the brother of a Brisbane landscaper who tested positive on Friday, taking the cluster to three.

Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young says this man likely infected the first two cases in the cluster but is not currently showing signs of the virus.


Dr Young believes he could be the missing connection they have been looking for.

“He’s fully recovered, his serology is reactive and it suggests that he has had the infection and recovered,” Dr Young said.

“Now of course he could have had that in the past, but it’s most likely that he’s had it recently and is one of those and missing links between the doctor who worked at the PA Hospital and this most recent cluster.”

Dr Young is urging people in the Brisbane area to wear masks in indoor areas.

She is not ruling out the potential for a lockdown, if the situation worsens.

“Of course I can’t, this is a virus. It just spreads. We don’t always know how, I could not know how, we don’t know how it spread from the case that we had in the hotel and how it spread to that doctor and we don’t know how it spread from the doctor to these three cases.

“So no, I cannot rule out anything but I’m very hopeful. We just need people to not make any assumptions.”

It comes as officials were forced to clarify reports one of the infected men hosted a house party on Friday night while infectious despite being told to isolate while awaiting test results.

Queensland Health released a statement on Saturday claiming 25 people had been quarantined as a result.

But officials have today conceded that information was way off the mark.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski now admits the number was wrong, with most of the people in the home understood to be housemates.

“While there was some initial reporting about concerns that there was a  party being held with 25 persons at that residence….. the contact tracing inquiries that we’ve conducted after that reveals that in fact there were only five persons there,” Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski told reporters on Sunday.

“They’ve all been accounted for and the important thing is that they have now been tracked down.

“At this stage, our investigation’s not disclosing any information of any offences being committed by anyone but we’ll continue to look into it.”

The five people have now been moved into hotel quarantine as they await test results.

Health Minister Yvette D’ath has refused to apologise to the man, who has reportedly been the target of abuse since the original claims were made.

“That is the information that I was briefed on at the time and I understand that the health officials who originally spoke to this gentleman, they say that is what they understood he had told them,” Ms D’ath said.

“I understand that as time has gone on an overnight, there has been further investigation, independent investigation from what the gentleman had said, whether it was a misunderstanding at the time or what it was, I cannot tell you.”