10 new cases, two ‘distinct’ clusters as jab rules beefed up
UPDATE: Queensland has had 10 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, eight of them as a result of community transmission.
The other two cases were acquired overseas.
The state now has 78 active cases of the virus, up from five on February 20.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who had earlier warned more cases were likely today, said it was good news that locally-acquired cases were linked.
Two of them are under investigation.
On the possibility of Greater Brisbane's lockdown continuing beyond Thursday, Ms Palaszczuk said it was a "day by day" proposition.
"So far the fact that we have these cases that are linked is good news. Do we expect to see more cases? Probably."
Ms Palaszczuk said the next two days was critical in terms of contact tracing. It comes as authorities look at locations in Toowoomba, Hervey Bay, the Gold Coast and Gladstone for potential cases.
"Everyone is worried," she said.
She also announced new rules around the vaccination of frontline heath workers.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said six of the locally acquired cases had all been linked to known cases, with two other cases under investigation.
She said Queensland was dealing with two distinct clusters - one linked to a Princess Alexandra Hospital doctor.
She said the second cluster related to a PA Hospital nurse who worked in the COVID-19 ward.
Dr Young said she believed the nurse, who was due to be vaccinated this week, had acquired the infection while working at the hospital.
The nurse's sister has also been infected with the virus.
Five new cases announced today have all been linked to the nurse.
"There are a further five cases ... linked to that nurse or her sister," Dr Young said.
"They all attended a party together down in Byron Bay."
Dr Young said the three day lockdown was necessary for health officials to get on top of contact tracing.
"Anyone, anywhere in Queensland ... with any symptoms please come forward, that is critical," she said.
"We don't have community transmission out there that we're not aware
of," Dr Young said.
"But we've had a lot of people now out in the community while infectious.
"It is vital anyone in Queensland with any symptoms please come forward."
Ms Palaszczuk confirmed that a tradie who had tested positive to the virus had visited a Gold Coast nursing home.
All residents have been vaccinated.
In a letter to "families and representatives" on Monday night, the manager of Tricare Mermaid Beach said the facility had "received news that a contractor involved with the refurbishments who was onsite today has returned a positive test for COVID-19."
Ms Palaszczuk revealed a new mandate for the vaccination of frontline health workers.
Under the new rules, any health worker who has not completed their vaccine schedule will not be allowed to work with COVID patients.
"There will be some new mandates coming into effect in terms of health professionals dealing with these COVID-positive cases," the Premier said this morning.
"Already 41,000 of our frontline health workers and people looking after hotel quarantine have been vaccinated, which is around 89 per cent.
"And we expect that to be completed over the next 48 hours."
EARLIER: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says it's "highly unlikely" there will not be new COVID-19 cases announced in Queensland today.
She is expected to hold a media conference at 9am.
"We do anticipate that we will probably see more cases today. I mean, it would be highly unlikely not to see more cases," Ms Palaszczuk said on radio this morning.
"We need to do this (lockdown) because this is the highly infectious UK strain. And we needed to do it quickly. We needed a sharp, hard lockdown. It worked effectively when we did it last time."
Ms Palaszczuk said 41,000 health and quarantine workers had been vaccinated and that it was "unfortunate" that the unvaccinated, infected nurse worked one shift in the COVID-19 ward.
"My understanding is that over the next couple of weeks there will be 100 per cent of people vaccinated, and around 7000 people have been getting their second vaccinations," she said.
"So, the vaccination rollout is going ahead. But, of course, we want to make sure that that particular cohort gets their vaccine as soon as possible."
It comes as two new cases were announced overnight, connected to a nurse who worked in the COVID unit at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
The nurse had also passed on the virus to her sister, before the two spent a weekend in Byron Bay.
Originally published as State braces for more cases as Premier issues warning