Four new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Queensland in the past 24 hours, with authorities confirming one of those is a woman on the Gold Coast.
All of the new cases are linked to the growing outbreak at the Queensland Corrective Services Academy, taking that cluster to five.
Health Minister Steven Miles said of today’s cases, one is a male trainee from the academy who lives in Greenbank.
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While the three others are the wives of the COVID-positive cases linked to the facility yesterday, which included a man from Pimpama.
“A 30-39-year-old woman who is the wife of one of the Pimpama cases has tested positive,” Minister Miles said.
New gathering limits are now in force across the Gold Coast and have again been expanded to now include the Darling Downs region from 8am Monday.
It means private gatherings inside and outside the home are limited to strictly ten people, while businesses with approved COVID-safe plans in place are allowed to operate as normal.
Mr Miles said today’s cases prove exactly why those restrictions on gatherings across the south east are so important.
“Three of these four cases relate to household transmission and we have always said that households are one of the highest risk of transmission locations, it’s very hard to quarantine in a household,” he said.
“It underlines how important it is that we have restricted the number of people in households… and it also underlines why it was so important why we brought in hotel quarantine.”
Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin said 14 prisons across the state remain in a Stage Four lockdown, as they try and curb the spread of the virus in the facilities.
“At the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre there are 1060 prisoners on that site and 530 employees… today and tomorrow our aim with Queensland Health is to test those officers on site.”
“We’re hopeful to have all of those tests done by the end of this weekend.”
Mr Martin said he knows the lockdown is not ideal, but revealed there is no other option.
“All of those prisoners have been locked in their cells and regrettably that is a terrible situation and is certainly not what I would want to do, but under the current advice from Queensland Health, that is the only option we have to keep the prison population and the staff safe.”
He said thankfully most prisoners and their families have been understanding of the situation.
“They know we are doing this to keep them safe,” he said.
“My great hope is that this is short lived and that we can reverse this current situation… but at the moment I have a lack of options.”
There are now 24 active cases across the state, with four of those on the Gold Coast.
A massive 18,763 people were swabbed for the virus in the past 24 hours.
Saturday 29 August – coronavirus cases in Queensland:
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) August 29, 2020