There have been two new cases of coronavirus in Queensland in the past 24 hours, one person who is in hotel quarantine and a man who is a trainer from Queensland’s corrective services.
Correctional facilities in the state went into lockdown after the trainer, from the Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) Academy at Wacol, returned a positive result yesterday afternoon.
The 60-year-old had trained 14 recruits and worked alongside 11 colleagues — all were tested and are now in quarantine.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said reports that he had been working in prisons was incorrect.
“As a precaution some of our corrective service facilities have gone into lockdown,” she said.
Prisons at Woodford, north to Maryborough and Capricornia are all part of the stage-four lockdown.
Queensland Corrective Services commissioner Peter Martin said about 7,000 of the state’s 9,000 prisoners were estimated to be affected, and are facing “extreme isolation”.
There is no set end date yet and the measures will only be lifted upon the advice of Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.
Prisoners will not be tested unless they are experiencing symptoms.
“This is significantly limiting any unnecessary movement into the prisons or out of the prisons and we are locking the prisons down, including [measures where] all the staff wear PPE [personal protective equipment].”
Mr Martin said the trainer, who was senior and experienced, did not have a temperature when originally tested on Friday but later reported a sore throat and alerted management.
“Over the course of the latter part of the weekend he further developed symptoms and he took himself off for testing as we would expect,” Commissioner Martin said.
Link to Brisbane Youth Detention Centre unclear
Health Minister Steven Miles said there was not a clear link yet between the trainer’s case and that of the ongoing cluster at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, also at Wacol.
So far 11 cases are related to the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre.
Mr Miles said the trainer had also been in places linked to other known cases.
“This individual lives in Forest Lake, works in Wacol, both locations where other cases of the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre cluster are known to live or work.”
Ms Palaszczuk said all youth detained at the centre had been tested and returned negative results.
There are still a number of staff results outstanding that are due back tomorrow.
The other new case of COVID-19 overnight was a Cairns resident who returned from Papua New Guinea.
Genomic test results doesn’t prove link to Melbourne trio
Mr Miles said genomic testing results had not been enough to prove a solid link between the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre cluster and the Logan cluster, which started when three women went to Melbourne and returned to Queensland last month without quarantining.
“They are the same strain, that is the strain that has been circulating widely in Victoria and New South Wales,” he said.
“Unfortunately that doesn’t provide evidence of a link, we’ll have to continue searching.”
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said although the final report on the genome sequencing showed an “almost-perfect match”, there was only one very small change between the two, which suggests they are linked.
“The problem is that particular strain has shown very little mutation,” Dr Young said.
“Although that’s almost an exact match, we’ve also found other cases elsewhere that have had that exact match.
“We can’t say definitely whether those cases are linked, but we also can’t say that they’re not.”
Dr Young said she will now look to contact tracing to try and find a link between the two clusters.
There are currently 17 active cases in the state, and a total of 1,110 cases.
More than 19,780 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours.
Two notices to appear have been issued for breaches of coronavirus restrictions, including a young person who left a hospital during their 14-day quarantine period.
The second notice was issued to a 51-year-old man from New South Wales, who had been refused entry into Queensland three times but snuck through the border before he was located and fined.