Queensland authorities are trying to squash three separate outbreaks of COVID-19 as Cairns enters its first day of a three-day lockdown.
The Sunshine State recorded four new local cases of coronavirus overnight, all of them linked to the existing Indooroopilly cluster in Brisbane’s west.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said all of the new cases have been in quarantine while infectious.
“Fantastic news and the sort of news we want to wake up to,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said all the cases were linked to schools in the Brisbane area.
Three of the cases are connected to the Ironside school, including a staff member, a parent related to a child who attends the school and a household contact of a child who attends.
The fourth case is a household contact of someone who attends Brisbane boys Grammar School.
- For an updated list of Queensland exposure sites click here
Dr Young said it was “vital” that residents followed the rules after health authorities called a three day lockdown in Cairns and Yarrabah on Sunday.
The restrictions were imposed after a COVID-positive taxi driver was infectious in the community for 10 days.
Dr Young revealed the link between the unvaccinated taxi driver and a reef pilot who tested positive in far north Queensland several days ago.
“We suspect it was when he drove that pilot from his home to the airport and then that pilot then slid down to Brisbane,” Dr Young said.
“Then for Cairns, it’s vital that you are now in lockdown for three days while we work out all the contact of this taxi driver and we go back and reassess all the contact of that pilot who brings ships in through the reef.”
A rugby ground, tavern and supermarket were added to the list of exposure sites in the Cairns area on Sunday afternoon.
There was also a positive case of COVID-19 detected on the Gold Coast on Sunday, with health authorities urging residents to come forward for testing.
But no further infections had been reported there on Monday morning.
Lockdown eases for southeast
Meanwhile, eleven local government areas in the state’s southeast emerged from an eight-day lockdown on Sunday.
Many rules have been relaxed in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, the Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim.
Residents are still subject to a number of restrictions until at least August 22 including mandatory mask-wearing, a limit of ten visitors to a home and a one person per four square metre rule. Up to ten visitors can now gather in public spaces.
Weddings and funerals will be limited to 20 guests and no community sport will be allowed for the next two weeks.
Schools will reopen but all high school students must wear masks at school and travelling to and from school. All staff must also wear masks and no inter-school sport is allowed.
More than 12,300 people remain in home quarantine, mostly in Brisbane.
There were 153 active cases in Queensland on Monday.
Ms Palaszczuk also said current border restrictions will continue to be monitored as NSW struggles to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant.
“The further north the virus travels is alarming for us. So we’ll be watching that incredibly carefully,” she said.
“So we already have those border patrols and those border controls in place at present. But if we have to go harder, we will.”