How soon aged care homes may reopen
Locked-down aged-care facilities in the Greater Brisbane region could reopen as early as next week, after Queensland recorded another day with zero new cases of pandemic virus across the state.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said Queensland had gone eight days since having a known infection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the community.
Dr Young said if that continued for another week, she was hopeful of being able to take nursing homes out of lockdown in the Brisbane and Ipswich regions.
Dr Young reimposed bans on personal visitors to nursing homes in Greater Brisbane a month ago after news of a coronavirus case in a staff member at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, which spread to other jails, schools and Ipswich Hospital.
She said that cluster, one of the biggest in Queensland during the coronavirus pandemic, had ballooned to 54 people, with Dr Young "pretty sure" the outbreak was linked to two Logan women who allegedly lied about returning from Melbourne, where they caught coronavirus in July.
The cluster includes cases connected to the Queensland Correctional Services Academy, the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, Ipswich Hospital, Karinya Place aged care facility, Laidley, Staines Memorial College and St Edmund's College, Ipswich.
"We've not had any case out in the community infectious in the last eight days, which is really good and we just wait to see what happens over the coming days," Dr Young said.
"It's a little bit too early to totally relax so it's really important, more important than ever that if you have any symptoms to come forward and get tested and to isolate yourself until you get that result."
But Greater Brisbane aged care facilities could reopen to visitors as early as next Friday, once the 14-day incubation period since the last infectious case was recorded in the community had passed.
Queensland's tally of known cases of SARS-CoV-2 since the health crisis began remains at 1150.
Originally published as How soon aged care homes may reopen