Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has issued a stark warning that the state’s coronavirus outbreak is entering a significant new phase.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has issued a stark warning that the state’s coronavirus outbreak is entering a significant new phase.

Community transmission warning as virus enters new phase

QUEENSLAND is starting to experience community transmission of pandemic coronavirus with public health units being unable to identify the source of infection for 30 cases across the state.

"Our cases are in all parts of the state so although there is some limited community transmission it is in the very early stages," said the state's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles, with his Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young. Photo: Tony Martin
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles, with his Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young. Photo: Tony Martin

The Queensland cases make up less than seven per cent of the 435 cases across Australia where health authorities have been unable to determine how the person contracted the virus.

Community transmission is much more prevalent in NSW and Victoria.

Dr Young said most cases of infection in Queensland were still occurring in overseas travellers.

 

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in QLD

 

She said Queensland had "many advantages" in combating the impact of the virus.

"We're such a dispersed, spread-out state," Dr Young said. "That's often a disadvantage but in this case, it's very, very much an advantage, which means that we won't see the peak of the impact of this virus across the whole state at the same time.

"We'll be able to provide support within the state whenever it's needed. We've … put in place four additional jets that we have on standby so we can move people rapidly around the state to assist with that."

The virus has already started impacting private aged care facilities in Queensland.

Federal Government figures show 25 aged care services in Queensland, NSW, Western Australia, Tasmania and Victoria have recorded 51 infections among residents and staff.

The Federal Health Department would give no details about hzw many Queensland aged care homes were impacted or how many residents were involved.

"Given the rapidly changing circumstances, supporting aged care services and protecting our older Australians and the workers providing essential care and services is our priority during this extraordinary time," a spokesman said.

"The Department of Health and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner are working closely with aged care services who have care recipients and/or staff who are COVID-19 positive to ensure they have the resources, staff and personal protective equipment."

Some aged care facilities in Queensland have gone into complete lockdown to protect residents, not even allowing family members of residents to visit.

Originally published as Community transmission warning as virus enters new phase


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