Australia

Brisbane ramps up coronavirus testing as close contact of infected landscaper tests positive

Queensland has reported one new local case of coronavirus, a close contact of the 26-year-old male landscaper who was confirmed on Friday to have the UK coronavirus variant

Contact tracers have identified 18 close contacts of the 26-year-old man, who spent a week in the community while infectious.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there has been no “large-scale community transmission” and there will be no lockdown of Brisbane at this stage.

“The contact tracers are doing an excellent job,” she told reporters in Brisbane. 

“We are very comfortable where things are at the moment, and Queenslanders respond incredibly well, so if everyone keeps up their testing, and the contact tracing, then we are comfortable where we are.”

Dr Jeannette Young said the latest case of COVID-19 lives in Strathpine.

“Thank you to every single person who came forward and got tested yesterday. There were triple the number of people who normally get tested on average in Brisbane came forward and got tested, which is excellent.”

A partial lockdown has been re-imposed for a week on hospitals, aged care facilities, prisons and disability services providers in the Brisbane City and Moreton Bay council areas.

Contact-tracers are focusing on the Carindale Westfield shopping centre and the Mama’s Italian restaurant in Redcliffe, where the landscaper is more likely to have interacted with the most people.

The man visited the shopping centre between 12pm and 2:16pm last Saturday and the restaurant between 12:30pm and 3:10pm on Sunday.

26 March: Queensland records one new local COVID-19 case

“We really want people from that Carindale shopping centre that were there for that particular period of time, to please come forward and get tested on it,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“That’s pretty crucial so we can we can rule out any further community spread.

Contact-tracers are focusing on the Carindale Westfield shopping centre and the Mama’s Italian restaurant in Redcliffe, where the landscaper is more likely to have interacted with the most people.

The man visited the shopping centre between 12pm and 2:16pm last Saturday and the restaurant between 12:30pm and 3:10pm on Sunday.

“We really want people from that Carindale shopping centre that were there for that particular period of time, to please come forward and get tested on it,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“That’s pretty crucial so we can we can rule out any further community spread.

Authorities have listed 11 exposure sites visited by the landscaper, including the shopping centre in Carindale and Bunnings, Aldi and Guzman y Gomez outlets in Stafford.

Anyone who visited those sites must immediately get tested regardless of whether they have symptoms, and isolate until results are received.

Queensland Health will soon publish a list of sites visited by the second virus case.

The landscaper’s infection sparked another lockdown of the city’s hospitals and aged care homes, due to him spending a week in the community while infectious.

The partial lockdown, which kicked in at noon on Friday, won’t end for a week and affects hospitals, aged care facilities, prisons and disability services providers in the Brisbane City and Moreton Bay council areas.

Health authorities in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania have advised anyone who visited the Queensland exposure sites against entering the states.

If recent visitors to a high-risk site or area have already travelled interstate, they are advised to self-isolate and contact public health authorities.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSWVictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania.

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