COVID-19 DIARY – EASTER IS GOOD TO GO IN QUEENSLAND BUT NOT FOR ME

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                             The entrance to the new COVID Fever Clinic. Copyright Lloyd Marken.

April 01

The first of April was the third day of a three day snap lockdown in the Greater Brisbane region.

It was Thursday and the next day was Good Friday.

The populace waited to have it confirmed that the lockdown would end today.

The number of venues listed from contract tracing had grown significantly.

There was an arguement to be made that had a lockdown be called in the wake of the first case with the PA doctor on the 12th of March that the Byron Bay Bluesfest would have been able to go ahead. That less cases would’ve ended out in the community and travelled as far as Gladstone and Toowoomba.

But case numbers were low as testing numbers had jumped, contract tracing had been ongoing during the lockdown, previous snap lockdowns had seen similar dispersal of the virus far and wide and but ultimately succeeded in their outcome of being a circuit breaker for the disease. There was some anxiety that the lockdown would not end today but if numbers were low this mornign precedent suggested it was likely the Premier would announce it would end.

As you would expect I was working from home.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Pallaszczuk announced in the morning that there were nine new cases in hotel quarantine and only one new case of community transmission and therefore the lockdown would end early at midday today.

I understand a lot of families in Greater Brisbane have made plans and the last thing we want to see are accidents on our roads at 5:00pm this afternoon and into the evening,” advised Premier Pallaszcuk.

Easter is good to go,” she said.

As before following the snap lockdown there would be a period of continued restrictions to remain in place until April 15 like mask wearing when indoors and unable to socially distant.

Cafes and restaurants could have patrons dine in but they had to be seated and there was no dancing to be had.

There was a person per 2 square metre rule for businesses and churches to adhere to.

Household gatherings were limited to 30 people.

There would be no visitors allowed at prisons, hospitals, aged care and disability services for the next two weeks.

We are not out of the woods yet. I’m asking Queenslanders, all Queenslanders, for the next two weeks if we all do the right thing, we can get through this together,” the Premier said.

Thirty four thousand, seven hundred and eleven tests had been carried out in the past 24 hours also giving confidence to authorities.

The amount of testing … has been astronomical,” Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said.

The two PA clusters now had a total of 20 cases linked to them including the new community case that morning who had been at the Byron Bay Hen’s party.

The Queensland Premier had requested an extension to the end of April in reducing the number of returned travellers returning through the state.

There were 82 active cases in hospital and 68 were returned travellers.

“That’s a real risk for us. I think we are the highest rate in the country at the moment with the most number of active cases in hospital,” said the Queensland Premier.

In Queensland there had been 1,386 cases of COVID, six deaths, 2,042714 tests conducted and currently 38 active cases.

As it got near to the end of my working day an e-mail was sent out at work.

Near where I work is the Toowong village shopping centre where I get my morning coffee from Stellarossa Toowong. Sometimes I pass through the newsagency on my way there.

Nextra in Toowong, Brisbane, QLD, Newsagents - TrueLocal

That newsagent had been listed on the Queensland Health website as a “casual contact” venue for Tuesday the 16th of March between 9:30 to 10am.

I backtracked through my notes.

Had I been working from home in the office on that day?

No I had been in the office.

I usually get a coffee around 9am to 10am.

There had been a meeting that morning.

Was it unlikely that I had been there before 10am.

Yes.

Was it unlikely that I had passed through the newsagency that day given I did not regularly do it on a daily basis.

Yes.

But was it possible….

Yes it was possible and therefore what I did next was a no brainer for me.

I finished work at 4:30pm and headed to the Prince Charles Hospital Fever Clinic to get tested having just read the e-mail maybe fifteen minutes prior to logging off.

Queensland Health broke venues from contract tracing into two types, one was close contacts and the second was casual contacts.

If you had been to a Close Contact site at the specified time then you needed to get tested immediately and quarantine until you get a negative result.

For those people even once you received a negative test you were to “complete the contact tracing self-assessment” and “stay quarantined even if you get a negative test until 14 days have passed since you were last there. It can take 14 days before you may show symptoms or test positive.”

There were over 1,700 people who would remain in quarantine as a result of this in Queensland over Easter.

For casual contacts.

“If you have been to any of the below locations at the relevant times you should:

Longtime readers will recall this is not the first time I sought out a COVID test or my first visit to the COVID-19 Fever Clinic at the Prince Charles Hospital.

On the 25th of February I was at The Prince Charles for something else and a nurse had been suspicous of the fact that we were wearing masks.

When I went and got tested for COVID for the first time on the 25th of May, 2020 I strolled throught the hospital to find myself out the back of an education centre.

We queued outside the building, there was a waiting room with chairs with masks to put on if you don’t already have one.

Then another room to go over paperwork.

Then another room to wait and then another room where the test was done.

I asked how deep the swab went and the nurse was very gentle. Perhaps coincidentally.

I returned twice to the place and followed a similar process in June 2020. That time one of the tests was distinctly uncomfortable.

On the 16th of December, 2020 with symptoms I returned to the Prince Charles Hospital to get tested and found the Fever Clinic had been moved. I had to walk through the Emergency Department to enter a long corridor where I found the clinic and got tested.

Now on the 1st of April I drove far from the main hospital to the other end of the campus grounds.

I saw a line of people on chairs in an undercover area outside a building. At the front of it I was checked in by a nurse, I was of course wearing a mask but was instructed to put on a surgical mask and wash my hands. The surgical mask had a blue plastic brim at the top of it where it would be positioned near the nose. It was as flimsy as masks you could buy in pharmacies.

I sat on a chair and waited for my test. I was told I would be called on my mobile. This practice I believe was in place to maybe allow waiting testees to leave and come back so as to keep numbers low at the site during peak testing. There were a few of us seated and waiting but perhaps not as many as there would be during the day or in particular in recent days.

I was there for close to ninety minutes.

A little over an hour before I got called and answered, a little later I was ushered in and got tested.

In December the nose swab was out but was told this time it was back. I felt they were thorugh but it was not painful. I wandered off into the night.

I was due to see my parents that Sunday for Easter and there was a good chance I would return a negative test by then and be free to attend to them.

But I though about my parents on a hospital bed, maybe a ventilator, fighting for their lives.

I had just seem them two weeks earlier.

There had been plenty of cases of people who became ill with COVID past the incubation period of 14 days while in isolation.

I was not prepared to take that risk.

I called them and advised I would not be seeing them and then I called work to arrange working from home.

I had a scheduled medical appointment the following Friday and people would be getting their flu shots at work on Thursday.

I rationalised a subsequent test the following tuesday and isolating before then would bring us up to three weeks since the possibility of having been to the newsagency on the 16th of March so that is what I would do.

Below was taken from the Queensland Health website from the 2nd of April just to give you an idea of how easily a potential spread can occur even if a place where there are so few initial cases out in the community.

-Lloyd Marken

CLOSE CONTACTS

Date Place Suburb Arrival time Departure time
Saturday 20 March Shinobi Ramen Noodle shop
Westfield Carindale Shopping Centre
Carindale 12pm 2.16pm
Saturday 20 March Black Hops Brewery East Brisbane 12pm 2pm
Sunday 21 March Mamma’s Italian Restaurant
69 Redcliffe Parade
Redcliffe 12.30pm 3.10pm
Saturday 20 March Green Beacon brewing Co. Teneriffe 2pm 3.12pm
Saturday 20 March Eatons Hill Hotel Eatons Hill 3.44pm 5.30pm
Monday 22 March PCYC Pine Rivers Bray Park 7.16am 8.10am
Monday 22 March KCF Training (gym) New Birtinya 9.15am 11.30am
Monday 22 March Plus Fitness New Minyama 2.30pm 3.30pm
Tuesday 23 March Plus Fitness New Minyama 7.30am 8.30am
Tuesday 23 March Hamilton Hotel Updated Hamilton 2.20pm 5.23pm
Wednesday 24 March Oliver’s Real food – Dine in Patrons New Maryborough West 11.50am 12.09pm
Friday 26 March FitStop Gym
6/338 Lytton Road
Morningside 6.50am 8am
Friday 26 March Spinnaker Park Café
222 Alf O’Rourke Drive
Callemondah 10.22am 11.23am
Friday 26 March Auckland House
60 Flinders Parade
Gladstone Central 7.23pm 9.30pm
Saturday 27 March Auckland House
60 Flinders Parade
Gladstone Central 7.33am 8.20am
Saturday 27 March Savour Café
Merthyr Village Shopping Centre
New Farm 10.30am 12.10pm
Monday 29 March Premium Pilates & Fitness Coorparoo 9.25am 10.30am

CLOSE CONTACTS INTERSTATE LOCATIONS TO BE REFERRED TO ON THE NSW HEALTH WEBSITE

  • Byron Bay – Friday 26 March to Sunday 28 March
  • Suffolk Park – Friday 26 March to Sunday 28 March
  • Ewingsdale – Sunday 28 March
  • Ballina – Sunday 28 March
  • East Ballina – Sunday 28 March
  • Lennox Head – Sunday 28 March

HISTORICAL CASUAL CONTACTS – OLDER THAN 14 DAYS 

Date Place Suburb Arrival time Departure time
Tuesday 9 – Tuesday 23 March Princess Alexandra Hospital
5D Outpatients Department (Sexual Health Clinic, Infectious Disease Clinic, Immunology A Clinic)New
Woolloongabba 8.00pm
Tuesday 9 March
11.59pm
Tuesday 23 March
Tuesday 9 – Tuesday 23 March Princess Alexandra Hospital Ward 5D New Woolloongabba 8.00pm
Tuesday 9 March
11.59pm
Tuesday 23 March
Wednesday 10 March Plus Fitness Everton Park 1.15pm 2.15pm
Wednesday 10 March Woolworths Everton Park 2.30pm 2.40pm
Thursday 11 March Plus Fitness Everton Park 3.30pm 5.00pm
Friday 12 March Plus Fitness Everton Park 3.30pm 5.00pm
Saturday 13 March Woolworths and Specsavers
Brookside Shopping Centre
Mitchelton 4.00pm 5.00pm
Sunday 14 March Plus Fitness Everton Park 8.30am 10.00am
Monday 15 March Plus Fitness Everton Park 9.00am 10.30am
Tuesday 16 March Plus Fitness Everton Park 4.30pm 5.30pm
Wednesday 17 March Woolworths Everton Park 2.30pm 3.00pm
Wednesday 17 March Studio Pilates Grange 4.30pm 5.15pm

CASUAL CONTACTS

Date Place Suburb Arrival time Departure time
Tuesday 16 March Body Plus Physio Caboolture 08.30am 08.50am
Tuesday 16 March Nextra Toowong Village Toowong 9:30am 10:00am
Tuesday 16 March Silky Oakes Strathpine 12pm 12.05pm
Tuesday 16 March Price Line Pharmacy Albany Creek 12.30pm 12.40pm
Tuesday 16 March Grill’d Eatons Hill 1pm 1.30pm
Tuesday 16 March Meat at Billy’s Ashgrove 2:30pm 2:45pm
Wednesday 17 March Tafe Southbank 8am 4.30pm
Wednesday 17 March Woolworths Everton Park Everton Park 1.39pm 2.13pm
Thursday 18 March Plus Fitness New Everton Park 8.00am 9.30am
Thursday 18 March Milton Fruit Bowl Milton 9:00am 9:20am
Thursday 18 March World Gym North Lakes 9.15am 9.45am
Thursday 18 March Basil and Vine Burpengary 10am 10.15am
Thursday 18 March Giant Chemist
Pacific Fair Shopping Centre New
Broadbeach 1.45pm 2pm
Thursday 18 March Electric Chair Barber Shop Everton Park 3.15pm 4.14pm
Thursday 18 March Studio Pilates New Grange 4.30pm 5.15pm
Friday 19 March Plus Fitness New Everton Park 7.30am 9am
Friday 19 March Lawnton Country Markets Bakery Lawnton 6.11am 6.26am
Friday 19 March Plus Fitness Everton Park 7.30am 9am
Friday 19 March Woolworths Paddington 10am 10:15am
Friday 19 March Bakers Delight Paddington 10:15am 10:30am
Friday 19 March Westfield North Lakes 11.20am 11.50am
Friday 19 March Little Red Dumpling Carseldine 12.10pm 1.16pm
Friday 19 March Studio Pilates New Grange 12.15pm 1pm
Friday 19 March Woolworths Carseldine 1.10pm 1.20pm
Friday 19 March Chemist Warehouse New Windsor 2pm 2.20pm
Friday 19 March TB’s Wine and Beer Rosalie 2:30pm 2:45pm
Friday 19 March Newstead Brewing Co. Newstead 3.54pm 5.29pm
Friday 19 March Aldi Bald Hills 5.10pm 5.18pm
Friday 19 March Super Cheap Auto Bald Hills 5.30pm 5.33pm
Friday 19 March Reef Seafood & Sushi Brisbane Newstead 5.37pm 6.35pm
Friday 19 March The Standard Market Company, Gasworks Plaza
76 Skyring Tce
Newstead 6.35pm 6.45pm
Friday 19 March Public Toilet, Gasworks Plaza
(located to the right of the escalator from the car park)
Newstead 6.46pm 6.47pm
Saturday 20 March Plus Fitness 24/7 Gym Everton Park Everton Park 7.40am 8.34am
Saturday 20 March Coles Everton Park
Everton Plaza Shopping Centre
Everton Park 8.39am 8.44am
Saturday 20 March Neighbourhood Market Co. Everton Park 8.45am 8.55am
Saturday 20 March Westfield Carindale Shopping Centre – any part of the shopping centre Carindale 12pm 2.16pm
Saturday 20 March Black Hops Brewery East Brisbane 2pm 3pm
Saturday 20 March The Bavarian Eagle Street Pier Brisbane City 2.15pm 4pm
Saturday 20 March Market Organics (store only)
190 Enoggera Road
Newmarket 2.45pm 3pm
Saturday 20 March Riverland Brisbane Brisbane City 4.10pm 6.32pm
Saturday 20 March Viscosity Fortitude Valley 6.42pm 7.31pm
Saturday 20 March XCargo Fortitude Valley 7.35pm 9.32pm
Saturday 20 March Baskins-Robbins
2/489 South Pine Road
Everton Park 9.20pm 9.25pm
Sunday 21 March The Standard Market Company, Gasworks Plaza
76 Skyring Tce
Newstead 9.50am 10.20am
Sunday 21 March Presents of Mind Paddington 10:15am 10:30am
Sunday 21 March Genki Mart
3/24 South Pine Road
Alderley 10.30am 10.46am
Sunday 21 March Subway
Strathpine Plaza Shopping Centre
Strathpine 12.50pm 1pm
Sunday 21 March Burrito Bar Everton Park Everton Park 3.24pm 3.33pm
Sunday 21 March Liquorland, Dolphins Central Shopping Centre
Ashmole Road and Klingner Road
Kippa-Ring 4 .40pm 4.50pm
Monday 22 March Bunnings Rothwell
Cnr Anzac Avenue and Bremner Road
Rothwell 7 .14am 7.27am
Monday 22 March Café L’avenue Carseldine 8.51am 8.58am
Monday 22 March Ashgrove Fresh Fruit Shop Ashgrove 9:20am 9:30am
Monday 22 March Zambrero Aspley 12.05pm 12.34pm
Monday 22 March Jacobs Bakery Aspley 12.40pm 12.48pm
Monday 22 March Bunnings Stafford
450 Stafford Road
Stafford 12.40pm 12.50pm
Monday 22 March Bunnings Lawnton 3.15pm 3.30pm
Monday 22 March Strathpine Plaza Shopping Centre Strathpine 3.43pm 3.49pm
Monday 22 March Woolworths Mountain Creek New Mountain Creek 4.15pm 4.40pm
Tuesday 23 March Redcliffe Train Line – Kippa-Ring to Lawnton Kippa Ring to Lawnton 7.00am 8.00am
Tuesday 23 March Café L’avenue Carseldine 8am 8.29am
Tuesday 23 March Woolworths Paddington 9:10am 9:25am
Tuesday 23 March Westfield
(Dymocks and Woolworths)
North Lakes 11am 12pm
Tuesday 23 March Nutrition Warehouse New Maroochydore 11.15am 11.30am
Tuesday 23 March Brightwater Medical Centre at
Brightwater Shopping Centre New
Mountain Creek 12pm 12.45pm
Tuesday 23 March Sushi Train Carseldine 12pm 12.45pm
Tuesday 23 March Zambrero Lawnton 12.51pm 12.55pm
Tuesday 23 March QML Pathology at
Brightwater Shopping Centre New
Mountain Creek 1pm 1.15pm
Tuesday 23 March Lawnton Fruit Market Lawnton 1.57pm 2.05pm
Tuesday 23 March Redcliffe Train Line – Lawnton to Kippa-Ring Lawnton to Kippa Ring 2.00pm 3.00pm
Tuesday 23 March Rosalie Gourmet Market Deli Rosalie 2:30pm 2:45pm
Tuesday 23 March Poolwerx Strathpine Strathpine 3.15pm 3.27pm
Tuesday 23 March Nellas Gourmet Tucker Lawnton 3.37pm 3.47pm
Tuesday 23 March Woolworths Strathpine 4pm 4.30pm
Tuesday 23 March Dan Murphy’s Strathpine 7.26pm 7.36pm
Wednesday 24 March Tafe Southbank 8am 4.30pm
Wednesday 24 March IGA Milton 9:05am 9:15am
Wednesday 24 March Milton Fruit Bowl Milton 9:20am 9:30am
Wednesday 24 March Redcliffe Train Line – Lawnton to Kippa-Ring Lawnton to Kippa Ring 2.30pm 3.30pm
Wednesday 24 March Lawnton Country Markets Lawnton 2.36pm 2.43pm
Wednesday 24 March Coles Everton Park
Everton Plaza Shopping Centre
Everton Park 3.24pm 3.33pm
Wednesday 24 March Uroko Sushi on Train Everton Park 7.19pm 7.33pm
Thursday 25 March Café L’avenue Carseldine 8am 8.29am
Thursday 25 March Aldi Stafford, Stafford City Shopping Centre
400 Stafford Road
Stafford 8.30am 8.45am
Thursday 25 March World Gym North Lakes 8.45am 9.45am
Thursday 25 March Meats at Billy’s Ashgrove 9:10am 9:20am
Thursday 25 March Officeworks Rothwell 12pm 12.30pm
Thursday 25 March Café L’avenue Carseldine 12.34pm 1.34pm
Thursday 25 March Gin Gin Public Toilet (male) opposite Gin Gin Bakery Gin Gin 1.25pm 1.26pm
Thursday 25 March Gin Gin Bakery
41 Mulgrave St
Gin Gin 1.26pm 1.33pm
Thursday 25 March Westfield North Lakes 2pm 3pm
Thursday 25 March Miriam Vale Road Star Roadhouse – male toilet Miriam Vale 2.35pm 2.45pm
Thursday 25 March Nundah Respiratory Clinic
1270 Sandgate Road
Nundah 11.15am 11.40am
Thursday 25 March Oliver’s Real Food – Take away patrons Updated Maryborough West 11.50am 12.09pm
Thursday 25 March Cold Rock Ice Creamery Raby Bay 3.50pm 4pm
Thursday 25 March Woolworths Cleveland Cleveland 4.00pm 4.40pm
Thursday 25 March Redcliffe Train Line – Lawnton to Kippa-Ring Lawnton to Kippa Ring 5.45pm 6.45pm
Thursday 25 March BWS – Lawnton Drive
820 Gympie Road
Lawnton 6.15pm 6.30pm
Thursday 25 March Hanwoori Korean BBQ Restaurant Brisbane City 6.30pm 7.30pm
Thursday 25 March Wintergarden carpark Brisbane City 6.19pm 7.50pm
Thursday 25 March Ceres Pizza Café Strathpine 7.00pm 7.58pm
Friday 26 March World Gym North Lakes 10am 10.30am
Friday 26 March Nurse Station café (Patrons) South Brisbane 10.15am 10.30am
Friday 26 March SPAR Carina Megafresh Carina 11.30am 11.45am
Friday 26 March Coles, Stockland Gladstone Gladstone Central 12.09pm 12.33pm
Friday 26 March Woolworths Coorparoo Coorparoo 12.55pm 1.30pm
Friday 26 March Niche & Co Café Tugun 1.40pm 1.55pm
Friday 26 March Chempro Chemist Tugun 1.55pm 2.10pm
Friday 26 March Redcliffe Train Line – Lawnton to Kippa-Ring Lawnton to Kippa Ring 2.30pm 3.30pm
Friday 26 March Woolworths Kippa-Ring
272 Anzac Avenue
Kippa-Ring 3pm 3.20pm
Friday 26 March Stockland Gladstone (including BWS) Gladstone 4.46pm 5.00pm
Saturday 27 March IGA Redcliffe Redcliffe 12.50pm 12.55pm
Saturday 27 March Sunlit Asian Supermarket
Westfield Garden City
Upper Mount Gravatt 2.30pm 2.45pm
Saturday 27 March Domino’s Pizza Greenslopes 3.30pm 3.40pm
Sunday 28 March 7-Eleven Mackenzie 1.30am 1.40am
Sunday 28 March 52 Espresso Nobby Beach 6.15am 6.45am
Sunday 28 March LeanChef Kitchn Surfers Paradise (Chevron Island) 10am 10.30am
Sunday 28 March Stable Coffee Kitchen Tugun 10.27am 10.48am
Sunday 28 March HOTA Markets Bundall 10.45am 11.30am
Sunday 28 March Surf Life Saving Competition Tugun Beach 12.30pm 2pm
Sunday 28 March Epic Escape Room Southport 1.45pm 5.20pm
Sunday 28 March Kirra Surf Shop
6/8 Creek Street
Coolangatta 2.35pm 3.05pm
Sunday 28 March Southport Park Shopping Centre Southport 3pm 4pm
Sunday 28 March Woolworths Southport Park 3.14pm 3.35pm
Sunday 28 March Tugun Supermarket Tugun 5.20pm 5.30pm
Monday 29 March Rafiki Café Mermaid Beach 6.45am 6.50am

LOW RISK CONTACTS

A low risk contact requires you to monitor for symptoms but not immediately quarantine or even get tested. If a symptom occurs then you get tested and ioslate at home until you receive a negative test.

Place Suburb Arrival time Departure time
Tuesday 23 March Outside Westpac –  Peninsula Fair Shopping Centre
272 Anzac Avenue
Kippa-Ring 3pm 3.30pm