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Queensland records 16 new local COVID-19 cases linked to west Brisbane outbreak

Queensland has recorded 16 new locally-acquired cases of COVID-19 with authorities encouraged that all are linked to existing cases.

The 16 new cases recorded on Tuesday take the total number of cases in the existing west Brisbane outbreak to 47.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the 34,718 tests conducted overnight is encouraging for ending a hard lockdown of the state’s south-east on Sunday, but she urged people to continue getting tested and to stay home.

“So we do need to continue testing throughout all of those 11 LGAs, and throughout Queensland, it’s really important, so that we can just make sure that we don’t have any other transmission events or any outbreaks happening,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

“So please get tested if any symptoms at all, come forward and get tested, and please don’t move the virus.”

One new case is linked to Indooroopilly High School, four cases are linked to Brisbane Grammar School, two are linked to Brisbane Girls Grammar, three are inked to Ironside State School, five are household or family contacts of existing cases, and one is a neighbour of an existing case.

Dr Young said some of those cases had been infectious in the community for up to five days.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said nine of the 16 new cases are children.

She said people should avoid coming into contact with their neighbours, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help them if they need it.

“We know we’re in lockdown,” Ms D’Ath said.

“If they need a food parcel of their groceries …don’t go knock on their door, give them a call if you’ve got their number and say: ‘Do you need any groceries or items?’.

“Leave a care package at the front door. That’s how you can help. Please don’t go visit your neighbours right now because, as we’ve heard today, one of the new positive cases is a neighbour.”

Dr Young said there are 7,995 people in quarantine in Queensland on Tuesday morning, including 4,089 in home quarantine.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said police had issued 70 infringement notices and arrested 21 people with only a small proportion of those related to an anti-lockdown protest in Brisbane’s CBD.

“I feel really, really worried that we won’t be able to get on top of this because there’s a small percentage of people who continually put their own interests ahead of their whole community,” Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said.

“This is the real community safety issue, people die from this virus, they get terribly ill, and even worse with this particular variant we’re seeing our young people get ill, which is just unforgivable if we spread it.”

The deputy commissioner said it was alarming that most people who were fined or arrested had been asked to comply with public health orders or given a warning, but they had deliberately resisted.

Dr Young has also tweaked her advice for young people wanting the AstraZeneca vaccine, telling under 60s that they can speak to their GP if they think they’re at risk.

The state government announced support payments of $5,000 for small and medium businesses hit by the lockdown, as Acting Premier Steven Miles warned employers not to misrepresent people as essential workers when they were not.