Six new coronavirus cases have been linked to a jail while Queensland also has three other virus cases.
Six new coronavirus cases have been linked to a jail while Queensland also has three other virus cases.

MEDICAL WARNING: 'If you have flu symptoms get tested now'

A cluster of COVID-19 cases connected to the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre has health authorities concerned, with more cases said to be "likely" over the weekend.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today confirmed six new cases of COVID-19 linked to the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre where a 77-year-old supervisor tested positive earlier this week.

A further three cases have been recorded for the state but those cases are linked to ships offshore.

It comes as the state's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young gave a shock warning to those with symptoms.

"I can clearly say in Brisbane and in Ipswich, if you've got symptoms of the flu it's most likely to be COVID, not flu," Dr young said.

Of the six new cases related to the youth detention centre, four are staff members at the detention centre and two are relatives of those staff.

These people live and work across a range of locations in the southeast, including Springwood State High School and Ipswich Hospital.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young last night locked down aged care facilities and disability accommodation centres in the region after receiving news of the new cases.

Mr Miles said the aged care and disability accommodation service lockdowns were effective across the Metro South, Metro North and West Moreton areas.

"Anyone in the greater Brisbane and Ipswich areas with any symptoms at all are urged to visit one of the testing locations," he said.

Ipswich City Council Mayor Teresa Harding said the Council was urgently working with Queensland Health to establish a drive-thru testing clinic in the region.

"Case numbers are being reported at seven and are expected to grow," Cr Harding said.

"We now have had community transmission in Ipswich … this is a first for us.

"It is very important that we prevent further spread of the virus.

"In the next 12 hours our key focus will be assisting West Moreton Health to establish another drive-thru fever clinic."
    
Cr Harding urged Ipswich residents to strictly follow health restrictions over the next two weeks to prevent a larger outbreak.

"The longer the virus is active in our city the more people are at risk and the bigger the impact to local businesses and local jobs," she said.

Queensland Health will test all 500 workers and 127 inmates from the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre.

Mr Miles said contact tracers had been working through the night to get on top of the cluster linked to the Wacol detention centre.

Ms Palaszczuk said the Queensland Disaster Management Committee would meet later today to respond to the latest cluster.

She called on people living in the Brisbane and West Moreton regions to avoid large gatherings this weekend.

The three new cases unrelated to the youth detention centre include two crew members from a cargo ship off the coast of Mackay.

The third is a member from the cargo ship off the coast of Townsville where two men tested positive last week.

There are now 15 active cases in Queensland.
    
The new cases add to a worrying situation developing in Ipswich, with the Wacol detention centre supervisor's positive result recorded late on Wednesday.

Earlier yesterday, health officials said they would not release a list of locations where the infected woman travelled through the community, because it was not needed.

Public health alerts are only released when health officials are unable to track down contacts at the locations where a case visited.

Dr Young said further tests were being conducted on staff and residents at the centre over the weekend, as authorities looked at genomic sequencing to try to work out how the woman contracted the virus.

Dr Young also confirmed on Friday there was a new probable historic case from a person who no longer has the virus, after they took a serology test.

"It's of no concern and we can actually link it back to a known outbreak that occurred earlier on in the pandemic," she said.

It came as St Andrew's Ipswich Private Hospital closed its doors to visitors as a precautionary measure following the infection of the supervisor from Bundamba.

Maternity patients could only have one support person for the birth of their child, and the visitor would not be allowed to re-enter the facility once they leave.

"This is a developing situation and these visitor restrictions will remain in place until further notice," the hospital said in a statement.

Despite the new protocols, the hospital said it did not have any positive COVID-19 tests.

"This is precautionary and not a time for panic," the statement read.

A Facebook post said the visitor restrictions had been made under the direction and guidance of Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.

An extra walk-in COVID testing clinic has been established in Bundamba by West Moreton Health for the weekend at the Salvation Army Church Hall.

The detention centre supervisor, who is in a stable condition in the Ipswich Hospital with COVID-19, reported mild symptoms on August 10 and worked five shifts while infectious.

Testing of 127 youth and more than 500 staff at the Wacol centre began on Thursday.


NEW COVID CASES IN QUEENSLAND

• A Marsden man who works at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, became ill about August 10.

• A Carindale man who works at the detention centre and for QBuild. He has been doing work for QBuild at Springwood State High School.

• The Carindale man's wife.

• A North Ipswich man who works at the detention centre and also at a disability accommodation service.

• A relative of that North Ipswich man, who has been at Ipswich Hospital.

• A Forest Lake woman who works at the detention centre.

• Two crew members from a cargo ship off the coast of Mackay.

• A crew member from the cargo ship off the coast of Townsville where two men tested positive last week.

 

News Corp Australia


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