Third UQ student tests positive to COVID-19


A third University of Queensland student has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The third-year psychology student is one of 35 people in Queensland who have been confirmed to have the virus, including Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

In a statement posted on social media late Friday night, the university said Queensland Health had started contact tracing.

The student is understood to have attended some classes and fellow students are expected to be required to go into home quarantine.

The University of Queensland St Lucia campus.
The University of Queensland St Lucia campus.

"We can assure students required to self-isolate that their studies will not be disadvantaged," the university said on Facebook.

"All students taking third-year psychology subjects can be reassured they will have online access to all learning resources from next week."

The university said staff members were working rapidly to transition to online teaching.

"Most lectures and lecture materials are already available online for those who don't wish to come to lectures," it said.

But the university said lectures, tutorials and research would continue on campus next week, based on advice from the Federal Government.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday announced that all non-essential mass gatherings of more than 500 people would be cancelled as part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

But he said this would not affect schools and universities.

A 20-year-old Chinese man and a 22-year-old property management student at the University of Queensland are also among the state's confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Queensland's latest cases of COVID-19 include a 60-year-old travelling salesman who fell ill in Rockhampton. He had close contact with a 56-year-old woman who was diagnosed after returning to Queensland from Indonesia.

A 53-year-old man from Kingaroy has also tested positive to the novel virus and is in home quarantine.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said confirmed COVID-19 cases with extremely mild symptoms were being asked to isolate themselves at home, rather than being in hospital.

"There is no need for people with mild disease to be in hospital," Dr Young said.

"We did that initially while we were trying to work out what this virus does and what it means. We were being ultra cautious. But now we've got that information, anyone with mild disease, we're saying: 'Go home. There is a risk that day six or seven, you might get worse, in which case, ring up, get advice, come into hospital and we'll manage it'."

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young. Photo: Steve Pohlner
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young. Photo: Steve Pohlner

Meanwhile, this month's World Science Festival in Brisbane has been cancelled.

The festival's Brisbane event was due to run March 25-29.