QLD outbreak now the biggest since first wave as 17 new local cases reported

QLD outbreak now the biggest since first wave as 17 new local cases reported

With the outbreak of COVID-19 in Southeast Queensland now totalling 63 linked cases, the state's Deputy Premier Steven Miles has confirmed it is the largest cluster seen since the state experienced the first wave of infections last year.

It comes as QLD reported 17 new locally acquired cases of the Delta variant today, 16 of which are connected to the Indooroopilly school cluster while one is a pilot based in Cairns who is believed to have contracted the virus while working on a ship offshore.

A number of new locations have been added to Queensland Health's list of exposure sites today, including the UQ St Lucia campus, various sites in Cairns and the West End Markets in Brisbane. Click here for the full list of current exposure sites.

"That brings this outbreak to 63 genomically linked cases, meaning that in less than a week this has become our biggest outbreak since the first wave last year," Miles said.

Of today's new cases connected to the Indooroopilly school cluster, four are linked to the Ironside State School (including one teacher), two are linked to the Indooroopilly State High School, one is linked to Brisbane Boys Grammar, and nine are close contacts or family members of already identified cases.

The detections follow a day of record testing after 51,479 Queenslanders came forward to be swabbed, with Miles saying "we didn't just break our testing record yesterday, we smashed it".

"Let's keep it up Queensland, let's keep that testing rate high," he said.

"That's one of the things that will allow us to get out of lockdown as quickly as possible."

The Deputy Premier also praised Queenslanders for complying with lockdown measures, saying traffic and police data indicated a reduction in the number of people moving around the regions under restrictions.

Despite that, with five of today's new locally acquired cases having been in the community while infectious for at least one day, Miles urged for strict compliance in the coming days.

"We are still seeing some people going out to shop, or to browse for non-essential reasons," he said.

"While there is an exemption to allow people to leave their homes to get essential groceries and medicines, that does not extend to other discretionary items - it has to be essential.

"Now is not the time to buy outdoor furniture."

Two days ago the Queensland government cancelled the Ekka and today Miles clarified the public holiday for the event had also been cancelled.

However, the Deputy Premier today confirmed that the public holiday for the Ekka would be moved to a date later in the year which he said would support the state's tourism operators.

"Last year when we delayed the public holiday to create a new special long weekend we saw Queenslanders flock to tourist destinations, spending money in our hospitality businesses," Miles said.

"We hope to create a similar opportunity again for Queenslanders to support our local tourism operators."

Updated at 10.52am AEST on 4 August 2021.

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