News Coronavirus Millions of Queenslanders hours from another virus lockdown

Millions of Queenslanders hours from another virus lockdown

covid lockdown queensland
A woman who works as a receptionist in the COVID ward of Brisbane's Prince Charles Hospital has tested positive. Photo: Facebook/Prince Charles Hospital
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Parts of Queensland will go into a three-day lockdown after an unvaccinated hospital worker, who was potentially infectious in parts of the state for over a week, tested positive for COVID-19.

South-east Queensland, Townsville city, Magnetic Island and Palm Island will go into lockdown for three days from 6pm Tuesday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“We’ve had two extensive meetings this morning about this. We have to take the advice of Dr Young. I’ve accepted that advice,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

The south-east Queensland lockdown local government areas include the 11 that had restrictions and mask orders imposed on Tuesday morning: Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Redlands, Moreton, Somerset and Logan.

Townsville, Palm Island and Magnetic Island in north Queensland will also be part of the lockdown order.

It is expected the lockdown will lift at 6pm on Friday.

Hospital worker unvaccinated

One of the community cases is an unvaccinated 19-year-old clerical worker from the Prince Charles Hospital.

Ms Palaszczuk said a Queensland Health directive meant people working in a COVID-19 ward should be vaccinated.

It was understood the woman worked just outside the ward.

“For some reason, she wasn’t vaccinated, so there will be a full investigation into that,” she said.

“Despite the health directives that she should have been vaccinated, she was not.

“Let me say, I am absolutely furious about this.”

Queensland’s chief health officer, Jeannette Young, said the woman was employed as a concierge in the part of the hospital where the COVID ward is.

“We have contact traced [that] she had interaction with two other concierge workers, and that was the service she was providing, and one janitor,” she said.

“It’s quite separate to the rest of Prince Charles Hospital, so the rest of the hospital shouldn’t be at risk.”

She said the information was still preliminary.

Last week, the woman travelled from her home in Sandgate near Brisbane to Magnetic Island and on Sunday visited the markets in Townsville.

The Premier said fever clinics would be set up on Magnetic Island and in Townsville.

Dr Young said genome sequencing results for the woman should be available on Tuesday night.

“This particular individual worked as a casual and they sat outside the COVID ward at the Prince Charles Hospital, so there might be a link there but genome sequencing will tell me what’s occurred, and where that risk is,” Dr Young said.

Dr Young said the woman developed symptoms last Monday and was infectious from 7am on Saturday, June 19.

Two others who live with her as well as a friend are unwell and have been tested. Results are pending.

queensland lockdown
The hospital worker travelled to Townsville and Magnetic Island while infectious. Photo: Getty

Another NT mine worker tests positive to Delta variant

The other case detected in the community was a miner who returned home to Ipswich from the Tanami mine in central Australia.

Dr Young said the miner’s first test did not deliver a clear result.

“Which means the first test, when they first went into quarantine, was very early, which means I hope that that is low risk,” she said.

“But we do know it is the Delta variant so we will be contact tracing everyone on that plane, everyone that miner has been near.”

Dr Young said all other miners from the NT mine have been contacted, ordered into quarantine and will continue to be tested.

“We’re not out of the risk time yet with all of those other miners. That is a continuing risk for Queensland,” she said.

Two more cases of the virus were detected in hotel quarantine with 15,000 tests in the past day.

Dr Young said Queenslanders who are 60 years of age and older should immediately see their GP and get vaccinated with AstraZeneca.

“If you’ve had the first dose of AstraZeneca, as I have, then go and get your second dose because the first dose is the one that has the higher risk,” she said.

“The second dose is very, very, very low risk.”

Travel restrictions announced for travellers from WA, NT

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath has also announced travel restrictions for Perth and the Peel region of Western Australia as well as Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield in the Northern Territory.

“From 1am tomorrow morning you will only be able to come into Queensland if you are a Queensland resident from any of those hotspots and you will need to go into hotel quarantine,” she said.

“For anyone who is not a Queensland resident, you will need to apply for an exemption, and if you are granted an exemption, you will need to go into hotel quarantine.

“That will stay in place while those states have those declared hotspots.”

Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the COVID-19 cases emerging across Queensland demonstrated international arrivals were an issue.

“Our international borders are supposed to be closed but every week thousands of people are allowed to travel,” Mr Miles said.

He said 121 people arrived from overseas into Queensland on Monday and another 190 were expected on Tuesday.

“These are putting our community at an unacceptable risk, especially with these new strains which cannot be contained.”