Queensland has recorded its highest increase of coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period, with 60 new cases confirmed overnight. One person has been placed in the intensive case, the first since the outbreak began in Queensland.
Chief Health Officer of Queensland, Dr Jeanette Young, confirmed the increase to the state’s total number of cases to 319.
The State Government will consider whether Queensland should shut its domestic borders, with Cabinet to discuss the issue today.
Meanwhile Education Minister Grace Grace said schools will remain open until April 3 when the Easter break begins.
It comes despite NSW this morning urging parents to keep their children home while Victoria will close schools from tomorrow.
“However parents can choose whether or not they wish to send their children to school,” Ms Grace said.
If parents do keep their children home, they must advise the school, ensure they continue with online learning materials and ensure they’re practicing social distancing.
A patient diagnosed with coronavirus has been placed in ICU – the first since the outbreak in Queensland.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said while normal work was continuing in hospitals, some patients may be alerted of changes to their elective surgeries.
She urged people who regularly donate blood to keep donating after the Red Cross reported decreased numbers.
Despite the large surge in cases overnight, Dr Young said “this is where I’d thought we would be”. “We know we’re going to get those increased cases,” she said.
Health Minister Steven Miles said Queensland Health was in the process of contacting residents who were on four cruise ships that recently arrived in Sydney, after several people tested positive for COVID-19.
“They (Queenslanders on the ships) will all be required to quarantine themselves for 14 days,” he said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said more tough love measures would be rolled out in coming weeks with a funding package expected to be announced tomorrow.
ELITE GIRLS’ SCHOOL CLOSED AFTER PARENTS TEST POSITIVE
ST Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Brisbane will be closed today after three parents tested positive to COVID-19 over the weekend.
The school will be closed to students however teachers will be on site finalising their online learning plans today.
The school will confirm later today whether it will open or remain closed tomorrow.
It comes as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed schools across the state would remain open.
QUEUES AROUND BLOCK AT COAST CENTRELINK
LARGE queues are forming at Centrelink after the mass closure of businesses was ordered by Scott Morrison.
A line of people waiting for Centrelink at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast to open on Monday morning stretched an entire block.
The Coast will be hard hit by the COVID-19 business closures, with tens of thousands of locals employed in the hospitality industry including clubs, pubs and cafes.
Mr Morrison has ordered many businesses to close by noon on Monday.
The queues coincide with the MyGov website crashing around the country.
The government’s central hub for all benefits including unemployment has been unavailable for most of the morning.
“We apologise for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience,” a message on the homepage says.
A spokesman for Government Services Minister Stuart Robert said MyGov was working but “the best option right now is for people to be patient”.
“There is unprecedented demand for the MyGov service right now, but we ask Australians to be patient as we work hard to help them all,” he said.
“Try logging on later today or even tomorrow.”
BROOKFIELD STATE SCHOOL PARENT TESTS POSITIVE
A parent with children at a state school in the western suburbs has been diagnosed with coronavirus. Parents of Brookfield Sate School have been told a parent had tested positively for COVID-19.
“The children of that family are well are being isolated,” a statement from the school principal Cate Whiting said.
“While we do not currently have any confirmed cases at our school I will alert the school community immediately should this change.
“I want to assure you we are following the strict advice from Queensland Health and we will continue to monitor all staff and students as we continue through this prolonged event.”
PM: HARDEST YEAR OF OUR LIVES
The coronavirus pandemic will make 2020 the hardest year of many Australians’ lives, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
As Federal Parliament cleared its schedule to focus on stimulus packages, Mr Morrison warned thousands of Australians would lose their jobs and many were already lining up at Centrelinks around the country.
“The coronavirus that is sweeping the world will continue to change the way we live,” he said. “But we must not allow it to change who we are as Australians. I know – we all know – that Australians are very concerned at this difficult time. It is the understandable fear of the unknown and there is much that is not known about the coronavirus but we must not let that fear overtake us. We must focus instead on what we do know, what we can control.
Mr Morrison said the pandemic was the biggest challenge facing Australia since World War II.
“We know who we are as a people. And the legacy and inspiration that has been given to us from those who have come before us and shown us the way through challenges and tests just like this. So we summon the spirit of the Anzacs, of our great Depression generation, of those who built the Snowy, of those who won the great peace of World War II and defended Australia. That is our legacy that we draw on at this time.”