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Urgent new COVID-19 measures after youth detention centre cluster detected

22 August 2020

Queensland Health is putting in place urgent extra protection measures after a further six people associated with the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre tested positive to COVID-19 yesterday.

A total of seven people associated with the centre have now tested positive.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has ordered upgraded restrictions on aged and other care facilities and hospitals across Greater Brisbane, and Ipswich and surrounds.

The measures put in place overnight across the West Moreton, Metro North and Metro South Hospital and Health Services:

  • Residential aged care and disability accommodation services were placed into effective lockdown with visitors being restricted,
  • Public and private emergency departments were instructed to use PPE to treat all patients,
  • Public and private hospitals were also asked to restrict visitors as soon as possible.

From today, gatherings in homes and in public have been restricted to 10 people in the following local government areas: City of Brisbane, City of Ipswich, Logan City, Scenic Rim Region, Somerset Region, Lockyer Valley Region, Moreton Bay Region, Redlands City.

Gatherings across the rest of Queensland outside those areas have been limited to 30 people.

"This is a very significant issue and we need people to take it seriously," Dr Young said.

"Visits to aged and other care facilities in those areas need to again be postponed. Movement of staff between facilities needs to be reduced as much as reasonably possible."

The seven cases include:

  • Five workers associated with the Youth Detention Centre.
  • Two relatives of workers.

Urgent contact tracing is underway for each of the new cases.

Dr Young said changes would not be made to gatherings at commercial venues at this stage.

"While we are keeping a watch on commercial venues, they have COVID Safe plans in place and measures to contact trace people if required,” Dr Young said.

"As a further precaution, emergency department staff in the HHSs will be required to wear PPE when seeing any patient."

Dr Young said there were now seven cases associated with the Youth Detention Centre.

"Our staff have been working overnight to start the mammoth effort of contact tracing required to help contain this outbreak

"I have said this to Queensland so many times since January and I'm imploring you to listen and act.

"If you are sick, get tested and stay home until you get the results. Even the most minor symptom might be COVID-19.

“Extra testing capacity is coming online in West Moreton and Metro South and I urge anyone with symptoms to come forward and be tested.”

Dr Young said Queensland Health would release further information about public health alerts over the weekend.

To find your nearest fever clinic, visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/covid19testing.

The total new cases for Queensland overnight is 9, with three further people in ships off the Queensland coast testing positive yesterday.

ENDS

Last updated: 22 August 2020