A worker at an after-school care program on the Gold Coast has tested positive for coronavirus, forcing all students to self-isolate for a fortnight.
Helensvale State Primary School has written a letter to parents saying the employee of YMCA Helensvale returned the positive result on Friday and was at work on Wednesday.
“It is understood that they had some sign of illness in the days prior,” the letter, obtained by the ABC, said.
All students and staff must now be quarantined, and the centre is expected to be closed for the rest of the term.
Qld COVID-19 snapshot
- Confirmed cases so far: 221
- Deaths: 1
- Patients tested: 29,867
The school will remain open, on advice of Queensland’s chief health officer, the letter said.
“I wanted to make this information available to all families as soon as possible so that you can be alerted to your own child’s health over the coming days,” the letter said.
Federal and state authorities maintain there is no need to close schools at this stage, although more than 100 other countries have.
Health Minister Steven Miles said the Helensvale case was one of 37 people diagnosed in the past 24 hours.
There are now 221 positive results in Queensland, which is the third highest tally in the nation.
Mr Miles said the staff member had been working for some days.
“It underlines the message, we all have a responsibility to one another, if you’re unwell and in contact with a lot people, you should seek medical advice,” he said.
Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young said the increase of 37 cases overnight was a similar level as the past two days.
She said all the country’s chief health officers are considering escalating travel restrictions, including domestic travel bans should the situation deteriorate.
“We are keeping it under control,” she said. “We are keeping it in hand.”
Brisbane, Logan libraries close, Gold Coast open
Brisbane City Council will close all 33 of its libraries from Monday until further notice.
For those who already have books out, loan periods will be extended to June 30 and book return chutes and bins will still be operating.
If people wanted to loan books out on Saturday, they were able to get out 60 per person, instead of 20.
All nine Logan City Council libraries will also be closed by noon Monday, but on the Gold Coast libraries will remain open and people will be able to get out 40 items. Loan periods have also been extended.
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Parents stuck on cruise ship
The daughter of a Brisbane couple stuck on a cruise ship in the South Pacific is pleading with the Federal Government to bring her parents home.
Marcia Kretschmer said her parents, both in their 70s, left Sydney on the Norwegian Jewel more than three weeks ago.
The ship was supposed to disembark in Tahiti but it has been denied entry to several ports which have closed in response to coronavirus.
“If there is no other country that will accept this boat then I think it’s Australia’s responsibility to return them where they actually embarked on the journey,” she said.
The Foreign Affairs Department and the cruise line have been contacted for comment.
‘Stay home this weekend’
Residents are being told to stay indoors this weekend.
It is now a requirement that all indoor venues have spacing of four square metres per person, which equates to 25 people per 100 square metres.
Mr Miles said there were some reports last night that some pubs and clubs were not following the guidelines.
“If we work together, stick together, we will be able to keep more people out of hospital and more people alive,” he said.
Coffee vendor Sebestian Velasquez said unclear messaging from the government could be the reason people were still crowding together.
He worked on Saturday morning at the West End Markets in Brisbane.
“I think the information is a little scattered, people aren’t sure what they should or shouldn’t be doing,” he said.
Until stricter messaging is released, he does not think people will stay home.
“It’s human nature to not think that those rules [don’t] apply to you, or make exceptions when they don’t suit, so maybe until there is a clear line that is set out, stuff like this is going to keep happening.”