Coronavirus cluster of cases at Noosa restaurant prompts public health alert


March 25, 2020 14:16:28

Queensland Health has issued a public health alert for people who have eaten at Sails Restaurant in Noosa after four staff members tested positive to COVID-19 and at least 13 people who attended a function at the restaurant also tested positive.

Key points:

  • The cluster appears to have emanated from a birthday party on March 14
  • Queensland Health says four staff kept working at the restaurant while infectious
  • Anyone at Sails on the evenings of March 18 and 19 is being urged to monitor health carefully

Queensland Health confirmed the four staff members continued to work at the site while infectious.

Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington said four guests at a 50th birthday celebration held at the restaurant on March 14 were from the Sunshine Coast and the other cases were from the broader South East Queensland region.

“Health authorities are tracing all those participants and say there is a low risk generally to people as a result of that event,” he said.

Queensland Health said the four staff members had worked at the restaurant on Wednesday March 18 from 4:00pm until 11:15pm, and on Thursday March 19 from 3:00pm to 10:00pm while unknowingly infectious.

Health authorities have called on people who attended the restaurant during those times to monitor their health for 14 days from those dates.

Those people are urged to see a doctor immediately if they develop any symptoms.

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Health Minister Steven Miles said it had proved difficult to get in touch with everyone who might have been exposed.

“That’s why we’re making this public alert public,” he said.

“Our public health officials will be working through what information is available.

“Obviously they’ll have access to reservation lists, credit card transactions, and they’ll use that to contact people.

“I can confirm that Sails have done everything that we have asked of them. They have notified the public where appropriate. They have provided advice about patrons.”

The case highlights how easily the virus can be spread when people are in close contact.

But the Minister maintained cases of community transmission were still relatively low.

“Clearly there was somebody infectious in the week prior [but] the in-community spread has thus far been very, very low,” he said.

“There is nowhere in Queensland where we have uncontained community transmission.”

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