August 2, 2021
Anyone, anywhere in Queensland with even the slightest symptoms must get tested if the State is to get on top of the latest outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.
This was the urgent message from Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young on Monday after another 13 locally acquired cases were confirmed overnight.
All are the highly contagious Delta variant.
Dr Young said anyone living outside the 11 council areas should not “feel comfortable”.
“I am asking for people outside Brisbane, outside the south-east corner, to also make sure they get tested because I don’t know where this virus has already moved to,” Dr Young said.
“Make sure that if you’ve got any symptoms, come forward and get tested.”
It is feared some of the latest cases could have been out in the community while infectious for almost a week.
As a result, the State Government has extended the lockdown restrictions in 11 south-east Queensland council areas until 4:00pm on Sunday (August 8).
The 11 affected Local Government Areas are: Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Redland City, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Sunshine Coast.
Although the South Burnett, Cherbourg, Toowoomba and Gympie councils are NOT within the lockdown zone, anyone who has been in the 11 council areas since 1:00am on Saturday must follow the same restrictions.
“The risk to Queensland is continuing to escalate with new locally acquired cases being reported each day,” Dr Young said.
“If you do not absolutely need to leave your house, don’t. Now is the time to act to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community.”
Dr Young said people in the 11 LGAs under the “stay at home” order must do just that.
“Unless you really and truly can’t do your job from home, please stay at home,” she said.
“Look after your kids, look after your family. Don’t leave unless you need to buy true essentials … only go when you need to buy that food … and when you go, wear a mask.
“We have seen that masks really work, particularly with this Delta variant.”
Dr Young said people who cannot wear a mask should stay at home, and ring 134-COVID if they need assistance.
The only permitted reasons to leave home in the 11 LGAs are to obtain essential goods, services or healthcare (including COVID-19 tests and vaccinations); exercising in the local area; attending essential work or school; or assisting a vulnerable person or family member.
Dr Young emphasised that people who had been ordered to quarantine must stay at home.
“As we have seen in other states, the Delta variant spreads rapidly with only fleeting contact, and this poses a significant risk to the community,” Dr Young said.
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Police arrested fifteen people who attended an anti-lockdown protest in the Brisbane CBD on Monday morning.
A police spokesperson said 13 were charged with contravening a direction and seven were charged with obstructing police. Other offences included breach of bail and drug possession.
Eleven people were released on bail however on Monday afternoon three people remained in custody at the Brisbane Watchhouse after refusing to provide their details.
Police handed out 21 on-the-spot fines to people for breaching COVID-19 restrictions and issued 11 move-on directions.
Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski criticised the protest.
“My message to those people that are tying up hundreds of police that could be doing other things is ‘go home’,” he said.
“Now is not the time to protest.
“Put the interests of your community’s safety ahead of your own views.”
Police issued 29 on-the-spot fines during the past 24 hours, including 18 people who were out of lockdown with no valid reason.
People were also fined for disobeying police directions, refusing to wear a mask, border breaches and three breaches of Public Health Directions.
“What is disappointing is that in every single case, people are given the opportunity to comply but they choose not to and we are left with no option but to take action,” Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said.
“In another two cases we had to arrest people because of the nature of their offending.”
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Anyone planning on visiting National Parks, State Forests or Queensland Parks and Wildlife visitor centres in south-east Queensland have been asked to monitor the QPWS Parks Alerts webpage
National Parks and forests within the lockdown area will remain open for people who live nearby for exercise, however, everyone must follow the Chief Health Officer’s directions.
Camping is not a valid reason for leaving home in the lockdown areas.
Bookings within the lockdown areas need to be cancelled or postponed via the QPWS Online Booking System
Existing campers are able to continue their stay to minimise travel in the region or can return home, but must follow the same lockdown rules when they get there, regardless of where their destination is.
People who have bookings and can’t use them will be able to apply for a refund.