Australia

‘Time to start using’ masks as Qld virus cases expected to grow

As Queensland’s latest COVID-19 cluster is expected to grow this week, the state’s chief health officer is urging people to wear a mask and work from home. The Queensland Corrective Services cluster reached 23 cases at the weekend, after health authorities found a link between the state’s latest cluster and a smaller outbreak linked to…

As Queensland’s latest COVID-19 cluster is expected to grow this week, the state’s chief health officer is urging people to wear a mask and work from home.

The Queensland Corrective Services cluster reached 23 cases at the weekend, after health authorities found a link between the state’s latest cluster and a smaller outbreak linked to the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre.

Dr Jeannette Young told Queenslanders to be cautious, after now-confirmed positive cases spent 101 days out in the community.

It comes after four cases were confirmed on Sunday, including a student from Staines Memorial College at Redbank Plains and a child at a Fig Tree Pocket childcare centre, sending both into lockdown.

Dr Young is anticipating more cases to be confirmed in the state this week.

“We added up all of the days in the last 14 when known cases had been out in the community while infectious,” Dr Young said.

“We have now had (the equivalent to) over 101 days of infectious people out in our community in the last 14 days.

“That means there have been those 101 opportunities for people to get infected so we know that we will see more cases.”

Dr Young said social distancing remained vital in preventing further spread, urged Queenslanders to keep getting tested, and consider wearing masks.

“This is the time to get out those flat surgical masks … or if you’ve made masks with three layers of thickness,” she said.

“It’s really time to start using them.”

Dr Young said face masks would not be made mandatory “for a while” but said there may be a time when they will be.

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