Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said today’s case numbers were “very encouraging” and a decision on when Brisbane will exit its snap lockdown will be made tomorrow.
“Fingers crossed, all will be looking good for Easter,” Ms Palaszczuk said.”
“But like I said, it depends on the testing rates again.
“So if we see very good testing rates across Queensland and we don’t see any unlinked community transmission, the signs for Easter are looking positive.”
Cases linked to nurse who went to Byron Bay
One of the new community cases is linked to the infected nurse from Princess Alexandra Hospital who visited Byron Bay.
“So it is another nurse at that PA COVID ward,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“My understanding is that she was vaccinated.”
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said genomic sequencing had confirmed the case could be linked back to the original infected nurse.
“I already have the genome sequence back for one of those two cases, and it is exactly the same as the genome sequences for that second cluster related to the nurse and her friends who were in that party, who went down to Byron Bay,” Dr Young said.
“We’re now working through whether this second nurse in that cluster acquired it on the ward.
“She does work on the ward and she was tested as part of the asymptomatic screening testing process for that ward and was found to be positive.”
The second nurse has since developed some virus symptoms.
The second local case announced today lives in the same household as one of the infected nurses.
“So it’s household transmission, and we know that household transmission is our highest risk at the start of any outbreak,” Dr Young said.
There are now 11 people linked to the cluster.
A third case was identified in hotel quarantine and acquired the virus overseas.
All known cases now traced
Two cases previously under investigation, regarding their links to the two clusters, have now been confirmed as negative.
“They’re not cases, which means that we now have eight in that cluster, that first cluster related to the doctor who acquired the infection at the PA Hospital,” Dr Young said.
“So those two clusters look like they’ve all been worked through and all of the cases are linked and we do not have any other cases out in the community anywhere in Queensland that are unlinked.”
Palaszczuk hits back at vaccine rollout criticism
The premier refuted claims by federal leaders and health experts Queensland was “stockpiling” vaccine doses, with the state behind on its jab rollout target.
“We are not stockpiling vaccines,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We need to have guaranteed supply and we need to have guaranteed times of delivery.”
Ms Palaszczuk called for the Federal Government to release figures every day on the supply of vaccines, in order to ramp up the process.
She suggested the rollout delay was partly due to the state ensuring there was enough supply for second doses.
“What we needed to do is to make sure that we had enough for the second vaccine,” she said.
“If the Commonwealth can tell us what their supply is, we are more than happy to roll out the rest of that as quickly as possible.
“But can you imagine what will happen if we do not have the second dosage for people who have had their first in the 12-week period.”
Health minister tested for coronavirus
Queensland’s Health Minister Yvette D’Ath has taken a COVID-19 test after coming down with a sore throat.
“The health minister contacted me this morning to say she has a sore throat, so she has gone to get a COVID test,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The health minister is following exactly her own advice and I encourage everyone else, if you have any symptoms as well, to please do the same and go and get a test.”
Compliance with lockdown rules ‘fantastic’
No fines have been issued for COVID-19 restriction breaches in the past 24 hours, Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.
However, a young person was fined for failing to wear a mask on a train.
“We have had one additional incident of a young person on a train who was a fare evader who didn’t want to wear a mask, didn’t comply and has been issued with a notice for failing to do so,” he said.
Overall, the levels of compliance across the state has been “fantastic”, Mr Gollschewski said.