‘It’s critical’: MP’s warning after Gladstone COVID-19 case
"WE should be treating it as is there have been cases in our community from the very start." That's the key message from Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher after it was confirmed today a Gladstone area resident tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating in Calliope.
Yesterday two new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed, one lady from Yeppoon and another from the Gladstone region, however it was initially understood the Calliope woman was isolating in Brisbane.
Today Central Queensland Hospital and Health Services confirmed they were in fact isolating in the Gladstone area.
"All close contacts of this person have been identified, contacted and are in isolation," a spokeswoman said.
Mr Butcher said the woman had been travelling from New South Wales when they identified they had been in direct contact with someone else who had the virus.
"Certainly now since that tracing they went straight into isolation," Mr Butcher said.
He said with this confirmed case it was "critical" for residents to abide by social distancing rules and only go out if it was essential.
"Just be ever vigilant it's here in Queensland, it's coming into the regional areas," he said.
"We need to treat this seriously.
"People are dying around the world en masse and the potential for that to happen in regional Queensland is high."
He said police were now doing compliance checks on people who are known to have the virus.
If a person does not comply with quarantine directions, penalties of up to $13,345 for individuals and $66,672.50 for corporations may apply.
Officers can also issue on-the-spot fines of $1334.50 for individuals and $6,672.50 for corporations that fail to abide by the health directions.
To date there are 835 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Queensland, including eight in Central Queensland.
Four Queenslanders have died from the virus including a 85-year-old man in Toowoomba who died overnight.