Sport AFL Mystery infection in Qld sparks hunt for missing link, as states react with health alerts

Mystery infection in Qld sparks hunt for missing link, as states react with health alerts

Masks are back in Brisbane and Moreton Bay council areas after a new infection surfaced. Photo: AAP
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Contract tracers are urgently hunting for the missing link between Queensland’s latest COVID case and a doctor who was diagnosed two weeks ago.

A 26-year-old man’s infection on Friday sparked another week-long lockdown of hospitals and aged care homes in Brisbane City and Moreton Bay council areas, and the reintroduction of masks.

States moved quickly to place restrictions on visiting Queenslanders while at the AFL in Melbourne on Friday night, people who had been in Brisbane were told to leave the grounds, including commentators Luke Hodge and Wayne Carey.

Genomic testing on Friday night confirmed the infected man was carrying the same UK strain linked to a Princess Alexandra Hospital doctor who was diagnosed on March 12.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said it was likely the new case had caught the virus from an intermediary, yet to be identified.

Authorities have listed 11 exposure sites visited by the landscaper including the shopping centre in Carindale and Bunnings, Aldi and Guzman y Gomez outlets in Stafford.

Dr Young on Friday said the next 24 to 48 hours would determine if a wider lockdown was needed. Six other coronavirus cases were recorded in Queensland on Friday, all detected in hotel quarantine.

Health authorities in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania reacted quickly and advised anyone who visited the Queensland exposure sites against entering their states.

If recent visitors to a high-risk site or area have already travelled interstate, they are advised to self-isolate and contact public health authorities.

Victoria’s health department declared Brisbane and Moreton Bay COVID-19 hot spots and said anyone who has been in those areas since March 12 must self-isolate and be tested for coronavirus.

The declaration threw Friday’s AFL clash between the Brisbane Lions and Geelong into into chaos as the health advice came through less than an hour before the first bounce.

COVID cast its grim shadow over Kardinia Park when this notice went up on the jumbotron at quarter time.

The game at GMHBA Stadium went ahead as the Cats defeated the Lions in a one-point thriller but the fallout could be significant.

Lions players and staff have been told to stay in their hotel rooms until being told what to do by the AFL.

Brisbane are due to host the Magpies at the Gabba in five days in what is traditionally their biggest home game of the year.

At quarter-time, an alert flashed up on the stadium scoreboard saying anyone that it affected must leave the ground and follow the health advice.

Supporters in the ground groaned as the notice was read out by the ground MC.

Hawthorn legend and former Lions player Luke Hodge was forced to leave as he travelled from Brisbane for the match.

North Melbourne great Wayne Carey was also directed to leave the Channel Seven commentary box, while a small contingent of travelling Lions supporters also had to depart the ground.

The Lions’ AFLW team are also in Victoria and are due to play Melbourne at Casey Fields on Saturday.