Queensland recorded nine new cases of community transmissions in the last 24 hours, all linked to the Delta strain outbreak at Indooroopilly State High School that led to a snap three-day lockdown of the state's south-east.
This is the highest number of community infections reported in Queensland in almost 12 months, sparking an anxious wait for businesses to see if the lockdown implemented from 4pm yesterday will be extended beyond Tuesday.
The Queensland numbers come on top of 239 new locally acquired cases in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. Of these, 115 are linked to a known case or cluster and the source of infection for 124 cases is under investigation.
Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young warns that the increase in positive cases recorded overnight show the Delta strain is 'rapidly escalating as expected'. While there were 11,468 tests conducted over the past 254 hours, Young would prefer to see test numbers rise to 40,000 a day to assist with tracking community transmissions.
The reaction nationally to Queensland's lockdown has been swift with the state's south-east declared a COVID hotspot.
The lockdown affects residents living in Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Logan City, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and the Gold Coast.
The ACT has issued stay-at-home orders until at least 11.59pm on 3 August for any resident who visited any of the 11 Queensland local government areas on or after July 21.
Anyone intending to travel to Tasmania after 4pm July 31 who has been in any of the affected areas in the 14 days prior to arrival will not be able to enter Tasmania unless approved as an essential traveller. Even then they must quarantine. Those currently in Tasmania who arrived before the lockdown and were in any of the 11 local government areas on or since 17 July, have been under a stay-at-home order from 6pm last night, initially for a period of three days.
Victoria has declared Queensland's south-east a red zone under the state's travel permit system from 8pm on 31 July. Victorian residents who have been in a red zone since it came into effect, other than for transit, will need a red zone permit to enter Victoria and must travel directly home, get tested and quarantine for 14 days.
Anyone in NSW who has been in any of the 11 affected areas in Queensland since Wednesday 21 July must stay at home and only leave their residence with a reasonable excuse. New arrivals to NSW from these areas must also comply with stay-at-home rules for 14 days.
Anyone living in the same residence as a person who has been in one of these areas also must follow the stay-at-home rules and only leave home with a reasonable excuse. People will only be permitted to leave their places of residence for shopping, medical care, caregiving, outdoor exercise with a member of their household or one other person, and work or education, if they cannot do it from home. People subject to the stay-at-home measures in Queensland also should not be travelling to NSW unless they are permitted to do so.
The latest snap lockdown is the most severe implemented by the Queensland Government since the pandemic began.
The federal government has declared the 11 affected local government areas as national hotspots, making residents eligible to apply for financial support. Queenslanders who lose more than 20 hours of work will be eligible for $750 payment per week, and those who lose under 20 hours work will be eligible for $450.
"We are advised that the application form will be available by 7 August," says Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles.
"The Prime Minister and the Premier discussed this yesterday, and we welcome the support of the Commonwealth, as we endeavour to get in control of this new Delta outbreak."
Miles has called for more Queenslanders to get tested, especially those on the Sunshine Coast where the current outbreak originated, in order to establish the extent of community transmissions.
"We need to see more testing, particularly today, tomorrow and Tuesday, to give us the kind of confidence we'll need to make decisions around how long this lockdown should proceed."
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