Queensland Chief Health Officer (CHO) Jeannette Young has warned unvaccinated grandparents not to go “anywhere near” their grandchildren as the CCP virus Delta variant spreads to four schools in the Australian state.
This comes as Queensland recorded 16 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, all linked to a cluster at Indooroopilly High School in the state’s capital city, Brisbane.
One of the new cases was another student at Indooroopilly High School, two at Brisbane Grammar School, two at Brisbane Girl’s Grammar School, three at Iron Side State School, five household family members connected to the new cases, and one neighbour of one of the known cases.
“If you’re a grandparent of one of these kids, one of these households, and you haven’t been vaccinated, please don’t go anywhere near your grandkids,” Young told reporters on Tuesday.
Young is also concerned that authorities have not yet been able to trace the outbreak to its source.
“We know the very first two cases that arrived into Queensland on the 29th of June, but I don’t know how it’s got from either of those two people to the first family in that Indooroopilly, Taringa area,” she said.
The state’s CHO also said that while she wished to vaccinate every teacher, there weren’t enough vaccine doses, but she urged any teacher of the age of 60 to get the AstraZeneca jab. “Younger teachers need to go and make that decision with their GP,” she added.
A view of Indooroopilly State High School in Brisbane, Friday, July 30, 2021. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)
The Indooroopilly High School cluster has now grown to 47, with over 4,000 people now directed by the CHO to quarantine at home as a result.
Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles reminded residents of their legal obligation to remain at their homes if the CHO has directed them to do so.
“While all of us in the southeast (of Queensland) have to stay home, those who are subject to home quarantine directions are legally required to stay home,” Miles said.
“They cannot leave home except in an emergency or to get a test.”
Outlining the rules of home quarantine, Miles said people under these directions could not leave their residences unless it is to seek essential medical care, avoid injury or illness, escape the risk of harm, or to get tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
People who are subject to home quarantine directives who need supplies or assistance can contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said, “The message this time, for this lockdown, is simple: don’t ask yourself ‘Can I go out?’ ask yourself ‘Should I go out?’” D’Ath said. “‘Is the reason I’m leaving my home so important it is worth risking an extension to the lockdown?’”
The Queensland government on Monday urged people to reconsider the need to attend work, even if they had done so during previous lockdowns.
Home learning is in place for Queensland state schools from Tuesday until the end of the week, with private schools having similar arrangements, Miles said on Monday. “This is the first time that we’ve seen an outbreak like this one, spreading in schools amongst students, teachers, and parents,” he said.
“It will likely see thousands of people subject to home quarantine directions,” he added.