The Queensland state government has announced a mask wearing mandate implemented in Brisbane and Moreton Bay yesterday be extended to include the Gold Coast in the state’s southeast on Wednesday.
This comes as officials announced one new locally-acquired case on Wednesday morning after announcing four new mystery cases the day before. Despite no new hospitalisations reported, it has sparked fears for a potential lockdown in Brisbane, Moreton Bay, and the Gold Coast.
The twin clusters come just days after tens of thousands of people attended the state-sanctioned NRL finals and the RiverFire festival in Brisbane, both of which fit the markers of what is commonly considered super spreader events.
Of particular concern was a truck driver who had been in the state of New South Wales (NSW) and was infectious in Brisbane for eight days. He stayed at three separate hostels at Spring Hill and at South Brisbane between Thursday and Monday.
The fourth case is a woman who tested positive on her fifth day out of hotel quarantine, however, authorities note she may be false-positive.
On Tuesday, Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young warned that a “large number” of new cases may trigger a lockdown, News.com.au reported.
“Of course I always consider a lockdown and then I work through what we need to do,” she said on Tuesday.
“At this stage, I do not think a lot is warranted. That could change.”
Citing COVID-19 related deaths reported in southern states, D’Ath urged Queenslanders to go out and get vaccinated as a measure of defence.
People were advised to monitor the Queensland Health website as exposure sites are added.
The outbreak has put in doubt the NRL grand final at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night as well.
The Queensland chief health officer said the decision to call it off, and potentially move the football game to Townsville, could be made as late as Saturday morning.
Exposure sites have been listed in Albany Creek, Aspley, Eatons Hill, Rocklea, and South Brisbane.
These include the Adalong Student Guesthouse at South Brisbane and McDonald’s Southbank, and a chemist and a cafe at Spring Hill.
The Queensland government has also moved to mandate at least one jab for truck drivers entering the state.
Since Aug. 24, at least seven truck drivers have entered the state from NSW while infectious with COVID-19.
Freight drivers must receive their first jab by Oct. 15, and two jabs by Nov. 15.
AAP contributed to this rep