Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

March 20, 2021

Eight new cases of community transmission of COVID-19 were confirmed by Queensland Health on Tuesday morning.

Six of the locally acquired cases are close contacts of recent cases, and two were identified by blood tests which suggests they are historic cases.

These two are also believed to be linked to recent cases, although investigations are continuing.

There are now 78 active cases of COVID-19 in Queensland, most of whom contracted the disease overseas; 64 of these cases are being managed in hospital including two in intensive care units.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk reminded Queenslanders that on February 20, there were just five active cases in the State.

Two distinct clusters of local transmission have been identified by Queensland Health: the first – the “Northside Cluster” – is linked to a doctor from the Princess Alexandra Hospital who tested positive on March 12.

She acquired the virus from a confirmed case in the PA Hospital.

The Stafford and Strathpine cases identified last week are part of this cluster, as are three of their close contacts – one of whom travelled to Gladstone.

The second cluster is linked to the PA Hospital nurse whose positive test was announced on Monday.

She is believed to have acquired the disease from a different patient while working at the hospital on March 23-24.

Her sister was also infected and the pair travelled to Byron Bay while unknowingly infectious.

The six new cases on Tuesday are linked to this cluster.

Both clusters are the UK variant (B117) of the virus but have different genomes.

“We have had a lot of people now out in the community infectious,” Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young warned.

“That’s why we need this three-day lockdown to get on top of all of the contacts of all of these positive cases and work out where they have been.

“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.

“But we know we have had infectious people in the community so that is why it is absolutely critical that anyone, anywhere in Queensland (with symptoms come forward and get tested) because we know some of these people have left Brisbane.”

Premier Palaszczuk said about 89 per cent of frontline health workers and quarantine staff had now received their first vaccination.

Dr Young said that from Wednesday, only health workers who have received their first dose of either the AstraZeneca or the Pfizer vaccines can work directly with confirmed cases of COVID.

The Greater Brisbane lockdown is due to be reviewed on Wednesday night.


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