‘Critical’ plea for testing as 147 close contacts identified
Queensland's Chief Health Officer says it's too early to say what the new UK variant of coronavirus would mean for the Greater Brisbane community but said it was "critically important" that people come forward for testing.
It comes after no new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the state in the 24 hours to this morning.
No new cases were recorded on Saturday either - the first full day of a three-day lockdown of Greater Brisbane enforced after a cleaner at an inner-city quarantine hotel tested positive to the mutant strain.
During this morning's update Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said 147 close contacts of the cleaner had been identified, with 112 of them testing negative for the virus.
The remaining contacts have been tested but results have not yet come through.
All close contacts were now in quarantine.
Dr Young has called for those who may have come in contact with the worker, as well as people in Maleny who may have come into close contact with a woman who flew from Melbourne to Brisbane with the UK strain, to come forward for testing.
Dr Young said she was "relieved" the UK strain had not been found in further testing, but said it was "too early" to celebrate.
"It shows Queenslanders are fantastic at responding," she said.
"We acted very very fast.
"It is too early to say what this new virus means.
"This is the first time we've seen this in our community in Australia."
Ms Palaszczuk confirmed today confirmed that Queensland's international arrivals would now be capped at 500 a week, down from 1000.
Ms Palaszczuk also thanked Queenslanders for their "great response" in testing over the weekend, with more than 19,000 tested in the 24 hours to Sunday morning.
"They are responding in droves," Ms Palaszczuk said.
Dr Young urged anybody on the Altandi to Roma St Station train at 7am on January 2 and Central to Altandi train at 4pm on January 2 to get tested.
"It is still absolutely critical, please immediately come forward and get tested," Dr Young said.
"We need to test you."
An urgent public health alert was issued late on Saturday evening, ordering anyone who had visited Coles at Sunnybank Hills Shoppingtown on January 5, 7.30am-8am, or Woolworths Calamvale North on January 3, 11am-noon to get tested and quarantine for 14 days.
The Public Health Unit confirmed anyone who attended these venues at these times was now considered to be a close contact with a Brisbane quarantine hotel cleaner who tested positive to the UK variant.
Alerts were also issued for places visited by a COVID-positive woman, who travelled into Brisbane and to the Sunshine Coast while infected with the UK strain, after completing hotel quarantine in Melbourne.
Later on Saturday Queensland Health issued an alert after viral fragments of COVID-19 were detected at a wastewater treatment plant at Redcliffe on Friday.
"This does not mean we have new cases of COVID-19 in these communities, but we are treating this detection with absolute caution," Dr Young said, urging people in Clontarf, Deception Bay, Kippa-Ring, Margate, Newport, Redcliffe, Rothwell, Scarborough and Woody Point to get tested and isolate if feeling unwell.
Elsewhere, three new locally acquired COVID-19 cases were reported in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm Saturday.
Victoria has recorded its fourth consecutive day of no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases.
QUEENSLAND HEALTH ALERTS ISSUED SATURDAY FOR TESTING:
Queensland Health has requested that anyone who visited the Coles Sunnybank Hills Shoppingtown on January 5 between 7.30am and 8am to get tested and quarantine for 14 days since visiting the store - regardless of the test result.
They have also made the same request for anyone who went to the Woolworths Calamvale North on January 3 between 11am and 12pm.
Authorities have also asked anybody on the Altandi to Roma St Station train at 7am on January 2 and Central to Altandi train at 4pm on January 2 to get tested.
Queensland Health has urged anyone who has symptoms and visited the Cappriccios Italian Pizza Restaurant while getting takeaway and waiting outside on January 6, between 6.30pm and 7pm, to get tested.
They have also issued the same advice for those who visited Purple Palate Cellars between 4.15pm and 4.25pm on January 7 as well as the Maleny Woolworths supermarket on the same day between 4.30pm and 4.50pm.
Originally published as 'Critical' plea for testing as 147 close contacts identified