Two ‘distinct clusters’ emerge as Queensland records eight new locally-acquired coronavirus cases

Another eight coronavirus cases have emerged in Queensland, with the current outbreak growing to 15.

Premier Annastacia Palszczuk says six of the new cases are believed to be linked to existing infections, while another two are still under investigation.

There are now two distinct clusters of the UK variant of COVID-19 in Greater Brisbane.

Both clusters are linked to frontline healthcare workers who worked at the Princess Alexandra Hospital but had not yet been vaccinated.

“We now believe that there are two distinct clusters so we have a cluster linked of course to that PA doctor and we have a second cluster linked to the PA nurse,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young confirmed both clusters are the UK variant.

“Both clusters are B117, or commonly called the UK variant, but they are very, very different. They are not related to each other. They are two different virus genomes,” she said.

A COVID-19 outbreak sent about 2.5 million people in Greater Brisbane into a snap three-day lockdown on Monday afternoon.

Hundreds more people around the state who have visited Brisbane since 20 March are also under orders to stay at home and self-isolate.

Earlier on Tuesday Ms Palaszczuk blamed the outbreak on the surge in active cases in state hospitals in recent weeks.

“It’s been a huge increase in workload and the number of people who are positive with COVID that are currently in our hospitals so it’s a large number,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said that Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young will order all state hospitals to mandate vaccination for anyone working directly with COVID-19 patients.

“That’s very good advice from Dr Young, and that strong advice we’ll get out to hospitals today,” she added.

Just two weeks ago, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said that course of action would not be possible.

She said allowing only vaccinated health staff to treat with patients infected with coronavirus would cut the health workforce in half.

“That is not safe, that is not sensible, you can’t do that, no state’s doing that,” Ms D’Ath said on 15 March.

The lockdown orders for anyone in the state who has been in the Greater Brisbane area since 20 March is also causing problems outside the region.

The number of teachers self-isolating at home have left almost 30 Gold Coast, Scenic Rim and Darling Downs state and Catholic schools without enough adults to safely supervise students.

Those schools have now closed until next week.

“Due to the impact of the greater Brisbane lock down, some schools will be closed and unable to provide supervision to students,” the Department of Education said on Tuesday.

“These schools will have contacted parents and carers. Check the school closures website for a list of affected schools.”

Easter holiday plans are also in disarray as states and territories imposed strict border measures in response to the Brisbane cluster.

Western Australia has closed its border to the entire state of Queensland, while Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria have shut out Greater Brisbane travellers.

Anyone from Greater Brisbane must isolate and get tested upon entering the Northern Territory and the ACT.

In NSW, people who have been in the lockdown area since 20 March are now subject to the same stay-at-home restrictions as Greater Brisbane.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSWVictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania.

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