Eight new cases in Queensland COVID-19 outbreak

Eight new cases in Queensland COVID-19 outbreak

Queensland has reported eight cases of community transmission overnight linked to two distinct clusters that have emerged, both arising from workers at the PA Hospital.

In total, 10 new cases of COVID-19 were detected including two cases in hotel quarantine, after the state's capital went into a three-day lockdown at 5pm yesterday.

Six of the community transmission cases are close contacts of confirmed cases, while two are still under investigation but are believed to be linked to a known historic infection.

There are now 78 active cases of COVID-19 in Queensland's hospitals, with the majority acquired overseas.

Based on genomic testing, the clusters have been divided into two groups: one connected to a doctor at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, and the other to a nurse from the same medical facility.

Of today's cases, five are linked to the nurse and her sister, and all attended a hen's night party in Byron Bay over the weekend. One of those five is a man living on the Gold Coast – an entertainer at the event.

The new cases come after 14,589 Queenslanders got tested for COVID-19 yesterday.

"We have seen a rapid escalation in testing numbers, which is fantastic, so we can find if we have further spread anywhere," Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said.

With an influx of overseas travellers from Papua New Guinea, the number of active cases in Queensland's hospitals has ballooned in the space of a month, up from five in late February to 78 today. Of the total active cases, 65 were acquired overseas.

Palaszczuk notes new mandates for health professionals working with COVID-19 cases are coming into effect, ensuring all health workers in Queensland's coronavirus wards have received at least the first of two vaccine doses.

In terms of vaccination efforts, the Premier notes 89 per cent frontline healthcare workers and hotel quarantine workers have received at least the first jab.

Palaszczuk notes the call to place Brisbane into lockdown yesterday was the right one, considering the number of new cases reported today.

"We want to get on top of this community transmission, so the steps that we took to go into this lockdown, as you can see by those numbers of community transmission today, was absolutely the right call," says the Premier.

Queensland Health continues to provide updates on locations where COVID-19 cases visited. Late yesterday Brisbane CBD locations were added, including the Hanwoori Korean BBQ Restaurant and the Wintergarden carpark, while other locations have been added including a cafe near the Mater hospital and a gym in Morningside.

This afternoon authorities added a cafe in Newfarm to the list of venues, in addition to a cafe and chemist in the southern Gold Coast suburb of Tugun near the NSW border.

NSW is also on high alert in response to the outbreak in Queensland after confirmed cases visited a number of venues in Byron Bay

While no new cases were recorded in NSW overnight, the state's Premier Gladys Berejiklian said "we need to brace ourselves".

Globally the COVID-19 situation is far different than here in Australia. Over the past month, daily case numbers have been climbing. Just yesterday 441,857 new infections were recorded and more than 7,000 deaths.

Most of yesterday's new infections were in the US (59,707), followed by India (56,199) and Brazil (42,666).

Originally published at 10.29am AEDT on 30 March 2021, and updated at 4:42pm AEDT.

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