What exactly is a COVID hotspot anyway?
There is a national definition of a hotspot, but states and territories are not required to adopt it as their own.
Under the official definition, a hotspot should be declared if there are an average of 10 locally acquired cases a day over three consecutive days in a metropolitan area, or an average of three locally acquired cases a day over three consecutive days in regional areas.
This would not take into account any new cases report in hotel quarantine.
Despite the national definition premiers remain responsible for most health restrictions in their states, as well as border controls.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has indicated she is likely to continue to rely heavily on the advice of the state's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.
There is also a traffic light system from the National Framework for reopening, which provides some advice on border restrictions.
But it is primarily an early warning system for states on when to take action based on case numbers and the health system's capacity to respond.
NATIONAL HOTSPOT DEFINITION
- In a metropolitan area: Rolling three day average of 10 locally acquired cases a day. That is, more than 30 cases in three consecutive days.
- In a regional area: rolling three day average of three locally acquired cases a day. That is, more than nine cases in three consecutive days.
- Queensland does not have an official hotspot definition for when to close borders, but relies on advice from the Chief Health Officer.
TRAFFIC LIGHT SYSTEM
- From the National Framework for Reopening, agreed to in-principle by the National Cabinet.
- Green light is maintain, monitor and report; amber light is targeted adjustments to restrictions needed; red light is harder, wider response needed.
- The trigger for amber is 0.2 to 0.4 cases per 100,000 people in a state, while the trigger for red is 0.4 cases per 100,000 people in a state in the past seven days.
- If the light is green for 14 days and there is no cases in high-transmission settings or hard to reach populations, it recommends the removal of domestic borders.
Originally published as What exactly is a COVID hotspot anyway?