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Queensland records nine new local COVID-19 cases – its highest daily figure in almost 12 months

Queensland has recorded nine new local COVID-19 cases as 11 local government areas in the state’s south-east begin their first full day of a snap lockdown. 

The current outbreak has now expanded to 18 since the first case was announced on Friday: a 17-year-old female student at Indooroopilly State High School.

“This is the most number of new community cases that we have reported in Queensland in almost 12 months,” Deputy Premier Steven Miles said on Sunday. “The last time we were at this level was August 2020.”

One of the new cases is a student at Brisbane Boys Grammar, who also attended karate classes at Ironside State School. The boy’s father has also tested positive for COVID-19. 

Two cases of the new cases are linked to Indooroopilly State High School and another two cases are linked to Ironside State School.

Five schools are now linked to the current outbreak. 

Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said new mask rules will be introduced in school settings.

“I am worried that this is spreading in schools because of them not using masks,” she said. 

When schools resume on Monday and Tuesday, masks will be mandatory. 

“All children in secondary school from years seven onwards, no matter their age,” Dr Young said. “All teachers and staff for primary school and for high school, unless they are teaching children who are deaf.”

Lockdown compliance ‘first class’

Dr Young said residents in the 11 locked down LGAs are complying with the rules, although there is some confusion.

“The response from people has been first class.

“If you are not sure what you’re meant to do, just check. Each of the five schools has a different regimen in place, because the risk is different.

“If you have a quarantine notice, just read it, it will be very clear. If you just received a phone call, just check what you need to.”

She said authorities want to see the testing numbers at around 40,000 – much higher than the 11,468 tests recorded in the last 24-hour reporting period. 

She said masks are needed for those walking outside for exercise, saying that a walk is “not strenuous exercise”. 

Push to get testing numbers higher

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said authorities are considering setting up more testing sites and drive-through clinics. 

“We have a virus that spreads in hours, not days. Our testing numbers are not high enough,” she said. 

“NSW has recorded one death every three days from this virus. We cannot be complacent. We want more people to come out to get tested.”

The list of exposure sites has been updated in the last 24 hours to include public transport routes and venues in Oxley, St Lucia and Indooroopilly. 

More to come.

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