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Queensland’s coronavirus timeline: How COVID-19 cases spread around the state


March 28, 2020 10:11:51

Coronavirus is spreading at a steady rate across Queensland, with more than 550 cases now recorded in the state.

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The virus has so far been reported in more than 170 countries, with large outbreaks in Europe, Iran, South Korea and the United States.

Globally more than 553,000 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded and 25,000 deaths. Importantly, more than 127,500 people have recovered.

In Queensland the first confirmed case was discovered at the end of January and over the last two months that number has steadily risen into the hundreds.

January 21

A Brisbane man is tested for coronavirus after returning from Wuhan in China. The state’s chief health officer Jeannette Young sends advice to all GPs, emergency departments, private hospitals and clinical groups in Queensland.

“This is a new virus, we see that every so often,” Dr Young said.

January 27

A group of Chinese nationals from Wuhan arrives on the Gold Coast on a Tigerair flight via Melbourne and Singapore.

January 28

First confirmed case: A 44-year-old man from the group is put into isolation at Gold Coast University Hospital. Queensland Health tells people returning from Hubei province to self-isolate for 14 days. The Chinese women’s soccer team is quarantined in a Brisbane hotel. Brisbane boarding school Stuartholme at Toowong also quarantines 10 students returning from China.

January 29

The Queensland Government declares a public health emergency.

January 30

Two cases are now reported in Queensland after a 42-year-old woman tested positive. The World Health Organisation declares the outbreak of COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern.

January 31

The Queensland Premier accuses the Federal Government of withholding information about the whereabouts of people who may have coronavirus.

February 1

The Queensland Government begins contacting 3,760 school students who recently returned from China, including Hong Kong, telling them to stay away from school for two weeks.

February 4 – 6

Five cases: A boy, 8, from the Wuhan group becomes the first child to contract COVID-19. He falls ill alongside a man and woman, both 37, also from the Wuhan group. New laws to allow authorities to have more time to find and potentially quarantine suspected coronavirus cases are introduced in Queensland Parliament.

February 19

The eight-year-old boy from Wuhan becomes Queensland’s first COVID-19 patient to recover and leave hospital on the Gold Coast.

A Sunshine Coast man aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked off Yokohama in Japan is among the Australians onboard who have tested positive for coronavirus.

February 20

Queensland Health says anyone who has been to China in the last 14 days and feels unwell should see their doctor.

February 22

Seven cases: Two women, 54 and 55, from the Diamond Princess cruise ship are transported to a Brisbane hospital. University of Queensland researchers claim they are days away from testing a new vaccine for COVID-19 on animals.

February 28

Nine cases: A 63-year-old Gold Coast woman who returned from Iran and a third Diamond Princess passenger test positive.

March 3

10 cases: The latest is a 20-year-old UQ student from China who lives in Toowong, and had spent at least 14 days in Dubai before re-entering Australia.

“Our understanding is that he has not attended campus at all and so that means the risk of person-to-person transmission is very low,” Health Minister Steven Miles said.

The first 8 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospital.

March 4

11 cases: A man, 26, from Logan who returned from Iran is put into isolation in the PA hospital.

March 8

15 cases: Including a 38-year-old Gympie woman who returned from London via Dubai.

March 10

18 cases: A 42-year-old Sunshine Coast woman who is the partner of the Gympie woman, a 46-year-old Brisbane woman who had travelled to Austria and France, a 42-year-old Brisbane man who travelled to Spain, Italy and France all test positive. Ten patients in total remain in hospital.

March 11

20 cases: Including a 32-year-old Gold Coast woman who travelled to the US and a 31-year-old Gold Coast man who was in close contact with her. Queensland Health confirms it is doing contact tracing at Brisbane nightclub Fridays and UQ amid concerns visitors came into close contact with a 22-year-old university student who has coronavirus.

“We have to prevent transmission to … vulnerable people,” Dr Jeannette Young said.

March 12

US actor Tom Hanks and singer wife Rita Wilson test positive on the Gold Coast, where Hanks is filming an Elvis biopic. His social media post brings worldwide attention to the spread of COVID-19. The Federal Government bans gatherings of more than 500 people. Australians are told not to go overseas unless essential.

March 13

35 cases: Including Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who returned from a trip to the US and the White House.

A 77-year-old Sunshine Coast woman becomes the state’s first death. She died after flying to Sydney. Authorities say she was likely infected from contact with her daughter who returned from San Francisco in the US.

All cases are concentrated in South East Queensland except for one in Kingaroy and one in Rockhampton.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young warns up to one in four people will be infected in next six months.

Queensland Health stops detailing patient travel histories and says anyone who has been overseas in the last 14 days and has fever and respiratory symptoms should call a GP.

March 14

Queensland’s biggest health service toughens criteria for COVID-19 testing twice in a day amid shortage of testing kits as the state records its single highest-day jump in cases so far.

March 15

There are now 55 cases in Queensland, among them: a 69-year-old Townsville man who travelled in New Zealand before learning he had tested positive.

March 16

69 cases: Including Federal senator Susan McDonald in Townsville. The RSL cancels all ANZAC Day services. All jury trials suspended indefinitely, police suspend roadside drink and drug driving tests. UQ pauses lectures for a week after three more students test positive.

March 17

78 cases: Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad says the virus could cost the state economy more than $10 billion over two years. The State Government announces it will offer $500 million interest-free loans to local businesses.

March 19

Australia bans all arrivals by non-citizens and non-residents. Queensland passes laws to allow postponing council elections, ministers to pass new legislation via video-conferencing, greater powers for health officials to force people into isolation and $13,000 fines for anyone who flouts their orders.

March 20

184 cases: A ban on travel into remote Indigenous communities under federal biosecurity laws is put in place. School NAPLAN tests are cancelled. The State Coroner adjourns all inquests until after July.

March 21

221 cases: There were 37 more cases added overnight — one of those included an after-school care worker in Helensvale, who went to work with symptoms.

March 22

259 cases: After 38 more people test positive to coronavirus. The Prime Minister announces a $66 billion coronavirus stimulus package to keep businesses afloat and workers employed.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announces $17 million in funding for University of Queensland researchers to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine.

Gold Coast theme parks run by Village Roadshow, such as Movie World, Sea World and Wet n Wild, will temporarily close.

Following a national cabinet meeting between state, territory and federal leaders, the Prime Minister criticises the public’s failure to practise social distancing and announces closure of non-essential indoor venues.

March 23

319 cases: Sixty more cases of coronavirus are confirmed overnight in Queensland bringing a new total to 319. It is Queensland’s highest daily rise so far. Queensland Health has conducted 32,000 tests for COVID-19. One Queenslander is in intensive care in hospital.

Shutdown of non-essential services, including pubs, clubs and restaurants, begins at midday with many people finding themselves out of work. The Premier confirms Queensland council elections will go ahead and state borders will be closed from midnight Wednesday.

March 24

397 cases: Queensland records a jump of 78 confirmed cases. Most of the cases are in the south-east corner. A total of 37,334 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the state. The Queensland Government announces a $4 billion package to extend tax breaks for small to medium-sized businesses in a bid to prevent significant job losses.

March 25

443 cases: Queensland Health issues a public health alert for people who may have eaten at Sails Restaurant in Noosa after four staff members test positive for coronavirus. At least 13 people who attended a function at the restaurant also test positive. Toowoomba man Garry Kirstenfeldt, 68, becomes the first man in the state to die from coronavirus in a Queensland hospital. Queensland shuts down its borders at midnight and remains open to local residents, essential travellers and freight.

March 26

493 cases: The State Government announces Queensland schools will become ‘student-free’ from Monday with children whose parents work in essential services still allowed to attend. The next sitting of Queensland Parliament gets cancelled with the next sitting date to be in April.

March 27

555 cases: Another 62 cases are announced as Queensland pushes ahead with Saturday’s local government elections with the State Government saying the risk is low compared to activities like grocery shopping. There have now been 42,965 people tested across the state, with only one person requiring intensive care.
















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March 28, 2020 09:18:10

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