New Queensland coronavirus case linked to aged care facility and …

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Precautions are being taken at an aged care centre in Pinjarra Hills after today’s new case of coronavirus in Queensland was linked to two employees of the facility, as well as the trio who recently returned from Melbourne.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the 27-year-old man from Bellbird Park, in Ipswich, was now in quarantine.

About Queensland
Queensland (locally KWEENZ-land, abbreviated as Qld, officially the State of Queensland) is a state of Australia. It is the second-largest and third-most populous Australian state. It is a federated state and a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. To its north is the Torres Strait, separating the Australian mainland from Papua New Guinea. With an area of 1,852,642 square kilometres (715,309 sq mi), Queensland is the world’s sixth-largest sub-national entity, and is larger than all but 15 countries. Due to its size, Queensland’s geographical features and climates are diverse, including tropical rainforests, rivers, coral reefs, mountain ranges and sandy beaches in its tropical and sub-tropical coastal regions, as well as deserts and savanna in the semi-arid and desert climactic regions of its interior.
Queensland has a population of over 5.1 million, concentrated along the coast and particularly in South East Queensland. The capital and largest city in the state is Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city. Ten of Australia’s thirty largest cities are located in Queensland, with the largest outside Brisbane being the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Cairns and Toowoomba. The state’s population is diverse, with 28.9% of inhabitants being immigrants.Queensland was first inhabited by Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, the first European to land in Australia, explored the west coast of the Cape York Peninsula in 1606. In 1770, James Cook claimed the east coast of Australia for the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1788, Arthur Phillip founded the colony of New South Wales, which included all of what is now Queensland. Queensland was explored in subsequent decades, and the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement was established at Brisbane in 1824 by John Oxley. Queensland was separated from New South Wales on 6 June 1859 (now commemorated as Queensland Day), thereby establishing Queensland as a self-governing Crown colony with responsible government, named in honour of Queen Victoria. Queensland was among the six colonies which became the founding states of Australia with Federation on 1 January 1901. Since the Bjelke-Petersen era of the late 20th century, Queensland has received a high level of internal migration from the other states and territories of Australia and remains a popular destination for interstate migration.
Queensland has the third-largest economy among Australian states, with strengths in mining, agriculture, transportation, international education, insurance and banking. Nicknamed the Sunshine State for its tropical and sub-tropical climates, Great Barrier Reef and numerous beaches, tourism is also important to the state’s economy.

New Queensland coronavirus case linked to aged care facility and …

About coronavirus
Coronaviruses are a group of related RNA viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, these viruses cause respiratory tract infections that can range from mild to lethal. Mild illnesses include some cases of the common cold (which is also caused by other viruses, predominantly rhinoviruses), while more lethal varieties can cause SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Symptoms in other species vary: in chickens, they cause an upper respiratory tract disease, while in cows and pigs they cause diarrhea. There are as yet no vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.
Coronaviruses constitute the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae, in the family Coronaviridae, order Nidovirales, and realm Riboviria. They are enveloped viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome and a nucleocapsid of helical symmetry. The genome size of coronaviruses ranges from approximately 26 to 32 kilobases, one of the largest among RNA viruses. They have characteristic club-shaped spikes that project from their surface, which in electron micrographs create an image reminiscent of the solar corona, from which their name derives.

A Queensland Health spokesperson later confirmed the man was at the Madtongsan IV Korean restaurant in Sunnybank last Thursday with five others, who all dined at a table adjacent to one of the women who had been in Melbourne.

All of the people the man dined with are being tested for coronavirus.

New Queensland coronavirus case linked to aged care facility and …

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said of the three women who travelled to Melbourne, two had tested positive, while a third returned a negative result.

“But we’re just checking whether or not she’s actually had it [COVID-19] and recovered,” she said.

“It’s too early to say whether or not we’ll see on-going spread. We’ll know over the next week or two.

For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic follow our live updates.

“We have a gentleman who tested positive overnight, he is our fourth case in this cluster.”

Dr Young said the man’s wife and sister-in-law “probably have COVID-19”, although they are yet to have their test results returned.

Dr Jeannette Young speaks at a media conference with Annastacia Palaszczuk looking on in the background.
Dr Young said testing has increased significantly since the Melbourne cases were announced earlier this week.(ABC News: Christopher Gillette)

“The man’s wife, and the wife’s sister are now in quarantine and have been tested with results expected back this afternoon,” Dr Young said.

One, or potentially both of the women work at the Bolton Clarke aged care facility at Pinjarra Hills, in Brisbane’s southwest.

Bolton Clarke chief operating officer David Swain said “two team members” had close contact with the man and both worked last on July 28.

Google's Streetview of the Bolton Clarke aged care facility at Pinjarra Hills.
The aged care facility that is now at risk following the latest coronavirus case in Queensland today.(Supplied: Google Maps)

Mr Swain said they self-isolated as soon as they realised they had been to the same restaurant as the Melbourne trio.

All staff are now wearing protective equipment and all residents are receiving care in their rooms, until further advice.

“In addition, our Pinjarra Hills community is not open to visitors,” Mr Swain said.

Restaurant ‘most likely’ cause of transmission

Health Minister Steven Miles said the link to the restaurant was “the most likely source” of the new infection.

“It underlines just how critical our contact tracing efforts are, more than 1,500 contacts have now been traced related to these three cases [the women],” he said.

A record 9,076 tests were conducted in the state in the past 24 hours.

That includes 2,498 tests in the Metro South region, where the three women live.

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“In some cases that has overwhelmed our testing clinics,” Mr Miles said.

Dr Young also said a Queensland nurse, who contracted the virus in Victoria while helping the state with their coronavirus response, would be flown back to Queensland today

For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic follow our live updates.

Community sport will still go ahead this weekend, but Dr Young urged anyone with symptoms to stay home and get tested.

“At any point in Queensland today we could have cases pop up, so that’s why the most important message is, ‘if you’re sick, stay at home and get tested’

“We don’t have a lot of respiratory disease. So if you’ve got respiratory symptoms today in Queensland, there is a reasonable chance that those respiratory symptoms are due to Covid rather than due to something else.”

There were now 11 active cases in the state, and 1,083 total cases since the pandemic began.

Thousands heading to Queensland from interstate

From Saturday 1:00am, 31 more local government areas in greater Sydney will be locked out of the state.

However, chief superintendent Mark Wheeler of Gold Coast district said people with valid border entry passes would still be scrutinised by police.

It comes after a driver was fined $4,000 after allegedly failing to declare they had been to a known hotspot at Campbelltown in Sydney.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said authorities expected thousands of people to come into Queensland today.

“The numbers are quite staggering,” he said.

“We have already hit 100,000 people since 10 July being checked at our domestic airports,” he said.

“We are expecting around 8,000 people to come into Brisbane today from interstate. Obviously a number of Queenslanders wanting to come back home before the restrictions come into effect tomorrow morning.”

He said since border controls started back in March over 500,000 vehicles at road borders had been checked with 11,312 people from overseas put into quarantine.

About 1,507 domestic traveller from hotspots around the country have gone into hotel quarantine in Queensland.

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