How two clusters from one hospital triggered the Brisbane lockdown
Mar 30 2021
The first cluster is genomically linked to a PA Hospital doctor who tested positive on March 12.
In today's episode, the Greater Brisbane area has been hit with a cluster involving the highly infectious United Kingdom strain.
One reader told Canberra Weekly they waited more than three hours at the EPIC testing site today after returning from Greater Brisbane on 11 March.
And we have a second cluster linked to the PA nurse.
Australia's Queensland state warned on Tuesday that more cases of COVID-19 were expected to emerge as authorities scrambled to contain an outbreak linked to the virulent United Kingdom variant, throwing Easter travel plans into disarray.
"Having everyone in their home instead of out and about in the community just helps us get on top of all of the contacts and minimise the risk of further spread". The order will take effect on Monday, March 29, at 5 pm, and end Thursday, April 1, 2021 just before the Easter weekend.
On the possibility of Greater Brisbane's lockdown continuing beyond Thursday, Ms Palaszczuk said it was a "day by day" proposition.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said she believes the Brisbane nurse acquired the infection at work, however, this is yet to be confirmed.
One known case lives on the Gold Coast and others have visited Toowoomba, Gladstone, Hervey Bay and Gin Gin while infectious.
"It stands to reason that maybe if these staff had been vaccinated (or) not been treating COVID-positive cases, then we might not be in a lockdown".
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says six new cases are genomically linked to or close contacts of seven existing infections, while the other two are under investigation.
The lockdown will affect the Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Moreton and Brisbane council areas with mandatory closures and confinements on non-essential businesses and individuals.
Non-ACT residents coming from Greater Brisbane will require an exemption to enter the Territory from 6pm tonight.
Two of the four local cases are under investigation, and one is believed to be a nurse from the Princess Alexandra hospital.
"The big question will be whether or not we see unlinked community transmission", the Premier added.
"We do anticipate that we will probably see more cases today".
Under the new rules, any health worker who has not completed their vaccine schedule will not be allowed to work with COVID patients.
The state opposition supports the move but said it should have happened sooner, criticising the vaccine rollout as sluggish. "It's a sensible decision, it should have happened earlier", shadow health minister Ros Bates said. And two are now under investigation, but we believe that they are also linked to the two people.
More than 41,000 frontline workers have received their first jab already, but only about 7000 are fully vaccinated.
Health Authorities say there are now two distinct COVID-19 clusters, one linked to a doctor at the Princess Alexandra Hospital who tested positive two weeks ago, and another related to a nurse at the same hospital who was diagnosed this week.