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Queensland has reported 10 new cases of locally acquired Covid transmission, all of which were household contacts linked to the Indooroopilly cluster in Brisbane.
Eight of the new cases had been isolating throughout their entire infectious period. The other two were infectious in the community for one day, during the lockdown period in south-east Queensland.
Deputy premier Steven Miles said it was a “very, very encouraging set of results” that indicated the stay-at-home order across 11 local government areas was working.
“It is too soon to say what will happen over the next few days and whether we will be able to ease restrictions on Sunday,” Miles said.
Five of the new cases were in children, bringing the total number of cases in the Brisbane cluster to 89.
Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said she wanted to wait until Sunday morning to see case figures before deciding “when and if we should lift that lockdown on Sunday afternoon”.
“Going forward we’re going to have to be incredibly cautious. We’ve seen what’s happened in other states.”
The state’s health minister Yvette D’Ath said from Friday, 113 pharmacies would begin vaccinations with previously announced Queensland government stocks of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
D’Ath urged people over 60 to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, and for those who had already had their first dose to receive their second dose eight weeks afterwards. This is in line with updated Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (Atagi) advice for outbreak areas, which recommends an interval of between four and eight weeks separating two AstraZeneca doses.
“I’m very pleased to say that shortly after this press conference, I will be going to one of those pharmacies to get my second dose of AstraZeneca,” D’Ath said.
“The feeling of knowing that I’m going to be fully vaccinated after this vaccine today – it just gives me that extra level of … confidence and comfort.”
In Queensland, 38.19% of the eligible population has had one Covid vaccine dose, and 19.95% are fully vaccinated.
Young said it was possible that mask rules could be in place until Christmas. “Masks are just so critical with this Delta variant,” she said. “If we want to try and avoid lockdowns, we are going to have to get used to wearing masks. Hopefully it won’t be through until Christmas, but it could be.”
She indicated the government was considering a mask-wearing pilot in older primary school-aged children. Currently, the mask mandate in south-east Queensland only applies to people aged 12 and up.
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“There’s very few places in the world that get children under 12 to wear masks, so we’ll just work it through and see if it’s beneficial,” Young said.
In light of Victoria’s new cases and lockdown, Miles said people arriving from Victoria after 1am on Sunday would have to go into hotel quarantine.
D’Ath said a report investigating why a receptionist at the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane was allowed to work unvaccinated would be provided to the health department on 20 August. Separate to the current outbreak, the hospital worker tested positive to the Delta variant in June, resulting in a snap lockdown.
Queensland recorded 48,028 tests in the past 24 hours, with 132 current active cases.