Fears Queensland’s Covid outbreak will hit NSW as authorities contact more than 20,000 travellers

NSW Health is contacting more than 20,000 people who flew in from Queensland amid fears Brisbane‘s coronavirus outbreak could spread south.

All those who flew in between March 20 and March 26 are being told to isolate and get tested if they were at any of Queensland’s hotspots.

‘Nine close contacts in NSW have been identified so far,’ NSW Health said in a bulletin issued on Sunday.

‘They have been instructed to undergo a COVID-19 test and to self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.’

NSW Health asked anyone who has recently come from Queensland’s affected areas to avoid non-essential visits to hospitals, residential aged care facilities and disability residential care services until further notice.

NSW Health fears Brisbane's outbreak could fly south with incoming travellers and has contacted 20,000 people asking them to isolate if they were at any of the designated hotspots. Pictured: coronavirus testing at Murarrie in Brisbane in January.

NSW Health fears Brisbane’s outbreak could fly south with incoming travellers and has contacted 20,000 people asking them to isolate if they were at any of the designated hotspots. Pictured: coronavirus testing at Murarrie in Brisbane in January.

Kmart in Carindale Westfield, Brisbane, has been added to the list of hotspots as NSW asks incoming travellers from Queensland to fill out entry declaration forms

Kmart in Carindale Westfield, Brisbane, has been added to the list of hotspots as NSW asks incoming travellers from Queensland to fill out entry declaration forms

Amid fears of virus spread, NSW introduced entry declaration forms on Saturday for anyone entering the state by air, road or rail who has been in the Brisbane or Moreton Bay council areas since March 11.

A total of 3822 people filled out the forms on Saturday.

‘These forms provide critical information to enable NSW Health to contact travellers if required,’ NSW Health said.

Queensland recorded one new historical coronavirus infection on Sunday as fresh information discounts reports linking an existing case to a party for up to 25 people.

Sunday’s reported community case is the brother of one of the state’s current cases, who is no longer infectious and believed to be a ‘missing link’ between the most recent cluster and a doctor who tested positive earlier this month.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said reports one of the cases had thrown a party for up to 25 guests were incorrect.

Pictured: locals queue for a test in Brisbane in January. Queesland had a relief on Sunday after finding the 'missing link' case and discovering an infected person did not throw a party after all

Pictured: locals queue for a test in Brisbane in January. Queesland had a relief on Sunday after finding the ‘missing link’ case and discovering an infected person did not throw a party after all

NSW Health is contacting more than 20,000 people who flew in from Queensland between March 20 and March 26 are being told to isolate and get tested if they were at any hotspots. Pictured: people arriving in Brisbane from Sydney in December

NSW Health is contacting more than 20,000 people who flew in from Queensland between March 20 and March 26 are being told to isolate and get tested if they were at any hotspots. Pictured: people arriving in Brisbane from Sydney in December

‘We were told at the time there were 25 people that attended the residence; we needed to investigate, track those 25 people down and get them into quarantine,’ she said.

Further investigations by police and health authorities suggest the people who attended were limited to the man’s housemates and one other person.

Ms D’Ath said officials acted on what they understood to be true at the time and told reporters she became aware of the new information on Sunday morning.

‘It is extremely unfortunate that what has been discovered over the last 24 hours, that it wasn’t 25 people, but as I understand it this is the information that was received from this gentleman himself,’ she said.

A coronavirus test worker in the lobby of the Mercure Brisbane hotel at North Quay, Brisbane earlier this month. Queensland contact tracers are closing in on all contacts

A coronavirus test worker in the lobby of the Mercure Brisbane hotel at North Quay, Brisbane earlier this month. Queensland contact tracers are closing in on all contacts

‘Whether the health officials misunderstood what he said, I wasn’t there, I didn’t hear the conversation, but this is the information that they believe that he had provided them at the time.’

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the state’s two active cases were both in hospital and while it was too early to relax, she was pleased testing efforts had not uncovered further examples of community transmission.

She said it was ‘most likely’ the historical case was one of the missing links between a doctor infected with COVID-19 and the most recent cluster.

‘We won’t be able to do genome sequencing on him because he dosn’t have any active virus at the moment but we will continue to test him to see if we can work out what has happened.’

As well as the historical case, Queensland recorded two new cases in hotel quarantine.

A Strathpine man in his 20s tested positive on Friday night after contracting the UK strain of COVID-19 from his male friend in Stafford.

The man visited at least 15 venues in Strathpine, Lawnton, Eatons Hill and East Brisbane while he was infectious.

Together with other sites visited by the Stafford man, there are now 25 potential COVID-19 exposure sites across Brisbane.

NSW has asked that anyone coming in from Queensland please avoid non-essential visits to hospital or aged care facilities. Pictured: coronavirus testing in Melbourne in February

NSW has asked that anyone coming in from Queensland please avoid non-essential visits to hospital or aged care facilities. Pictured: coronavirus testing in Melbourne in February

The KFC drive-thru at Everton Park, Brisbane was put on the hotspot list for only 5 minutes from 7.55pm to 8pm on March 22

The KFC drive-thru at Everton Park, Brisbane was put on the hotspot list for only 5 minutes from 7.55pm to 8pm on March 22

The nine exposure sites visited by the Stafford man include Westfield Carindale, Bunnings in Stafford and Gasworks at Newstead.

Contact tracers have homed in on the Carindale Westfield and Mama’s Italian restaurant in Redcliffe, where the 26-year-old spent the most time and potentially interacted with the most people.

He visited the shopping centre between 12pm and 2.16pm last Saturday and the restaurant between 12.30pm and 3.10pm on Sunday.

The Strathpine man’s visit to the Eatons Hill Hotel between 3.45pm and 5.10pm last Saturday is also a concern.

Anyone who has visited those sites is being urged to get tested and isolate until they receive their results.

The cluster has sparked a lockdown of Brisbane City and Moreton Bay council area hospitals, aged care facilities, prisons and disability services providers.

QUEENSLAND VENUES ON ALERT

Anyone who has been to the following venues in the specified time frames must get tested regardless of whether they have symptoms and isolate immediately until they receive a negative result:

March 20, 12 noon to 2.16pm: every part of Westfield Carindale Shopping Centre at the alert time is now HIGH RISK

March 20, 12 noon to 2.16pm: Westfield Carindale. Shops include: Shinobi Ramen Noodle Shop, Fresh Sensations, Go Vita, Robins kitchen, Harris Scarfe and Kmart

March 20, 2.45pm to 3.45pm: Market Organics (store only), Newmarket

March 20, 8pm: Baskin and Robbins, Everton Park

March 21, 10.30am to 10.46am: Genki Market, Alderley

March 21, 12.40pm to 3.10pm: Mamma’s Italian Restaurant, Redcliffe РHIGH RISK

March 22, 12.20 to 12.25pm: Guzman and Gomez, Stafford

March 22, 12.40 to 12.50pm: Bunnings, Stafford

March 25, 8.30am to 8.45am: Aldi, Stafford

March 25, 11.15am to 11.40am: Nundah Respiratory Clinic, Nundah

Low risk venues:

March 21, 9.50am to 10.20am: Gasworks Plaza, Newstead

March 22, 7.55pm to 8pm: KFC drive-thru, Everton Park

An Aldi supermarket in Stafford, north Brisbane visited by the city's positive Covid-19 case

An Aldi supermarket in Stafford, north Brisbane visited by the city’s positive Covid-19 case

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