News Coronavirus Restrictions return in Qld as mystery COVID case surfaces

Restrictions return in Qld as mystery COVID case surfaces

brisbane virus mystery
Brisbane residents are again urged to wear masks after the discovery of a mystery virus infection. Photo: Getty
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Queensland has hastily reimposed virus restrictions after reporting a new mystery case of coronavirus in the community.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the 26-year-old man from the Brisbane suburb of Stafford had been infectious since last Friday.

He has been at home since developing symptoms on Monday.

Chief health officer Jeannette Young said the man had returned two positive coronavirus tests. The source of his infection remains a mystery.

“We don’t know where this virus is next going to pop up,” Dr Young said.

“But as I have always said, if we can find the first case in a cluster, not the 40th, we will be able to get on top of that much, much more quickly.”

There are already alerts for several venues the man visited while asymptomatic, but possibly infectious.

They include:

  • Carindale Shopping Centre
  • Bunnings Stafford
  • Newstead fresh food market stalls
  • Baskin-Robbins, Everton park
  • Aldi Stafford

More alerts are expected to be added throughout Friday.

From midday Friday (AEDT), visitors will also be limited to aged-care homes, hospitals and prisons in the Brisbane City Council areas and in Morton Bay.

“These are sensible precautions to look after our most vulnerable,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

People from those areas will also be required to wear masks in crowded areas.

“If you’re going to a football match on the weekend, wear your mask going into the venue. If you are on a crowded train, put a mask on,” she said.

Dr Young said the man, who works as a landscaper, had not been overseas during the period when he might have caught the virus. The results of genomic testing are expected later on Friday or early Saturday.

The man is in a Brisbane hospital, and his housemates are in quarantine.

“He is a young man who has been out and about in his normal life so I am sure he has had contact with a lot of people,” Dr Young said.

“That is why it is really important for everyone, if you have any symptoms, come forward and get tested.

“I don’t know where he has got it from, and that person he has got it from could also be out and about in the community spreading the infection.”

Anyone with virus symptoms in the Brisbane and Moreton Bay area is urged to get a COVID test.

Prior to his case, Brisbane’s most recent community infection was reported in a doctor at the Princess Alexandra Hospital two weeks ago.

The female doctor had worked a shift at the hospital and visited four venues in the city’s south while infectious.

In response, the government locked down hospitals, aged care facilities, prisons and disability providers for seven days to avoid a wider outbreak.

That lockdown ended only last Friday.

Dr Young hoped the current case would not lead to wider restrictions on Brisbane because people knew how to respond to potential outbreaks.

“It just depends what unfolds over the next 24 to 48 hours, but we need to get used to living with these virus,” she said.

“We’re getting more and more people vaccinated, we’ve got great stats there, so as we get more people vaccinated the requirement to put restrictions in will diminish.

“We’re just at the cusp of between having to put in restrictions and having people vaccinated.”

Queensland reported another six virus cases in hotel quarantine on Friday, taking the number of active cases 69.

The state has also administered 53,893 vaccine doses.

-with AAP