Cars have lined up for kilometres in a rush to get tested for COVID-19 after it was confirmed two of the three women who lied upon returning to Brisbane from Melbourne tested positive to the virus.
Hundreds of cars lined up outside Orion Springfield Central shopping centre, in Brisbane’s west, on Thursday morning, creating traffic chaos as Metro South health authorities set up a COVID-19 fever clinic.
People were forced to wait up to five hours to get tested in their cars by healthcare staff armed with face shields and full personal protective equipment.
It comes as Queensland confirmed three new coronavirus cases on Thursday morning, all unrelated to feared community transmission.
One man in his 20s recently returned from the United States and is in hotel quarantine. The other two are a couple who recently returned from Sydney and chose to self-isolate after dining at The Apollo restaurant.
In Brisbane’s souths, the principal of Calamvale Community College has revealed two students, in years 1 and 5 are in two weeks’ self-isolation. The students are related to one of the women who tested positive for the virus earlier this week.
One of the two women who defied border restrictions and returned to Brisbane on July 21 was confirmed to have dined at Peak Thai in Springfield on Sunday night.
Late Wednesday a third case, the sister of one of the pair, also tested positive. She had not returned from Melbourne.
A third woman has also snuck across the Queensland border from Melbourne. She has not yet had a positive test result but remains in isolation.
The three young women who got past border restrictions were branded “deceitful and deceptive” by Queensland Police Commissioner Kararina Carroll on Thursday.
It was also revealed mobile phones belonging to two of the teenagers were seized.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Thursday that Queensland Health had carried out 6826 tests on Wednesday, almost 1000 of those in the city’s south.
“I want to commend both health and the police for the rapid response that they have been deploying over the past 24 hours,” she said.
The Premier has urged anyone who is sick to stay home and to keep up with the social distancing, and avoid busy places like shopping centres.
“If you are sick, stay at home, do not go to work,” she said.
The chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young confirmed authorities did not know where the second COVID-positive 19-year-old had been. Dr Young said more cases could potentially be announced later on Thursday as a result of Wednesday’s testing.
“It’s too early to have got all of those results back yet. We usually get results back in 24 hours,” Dr Young said.
She said more locations could be added to the list of venues visited by the trio as one continues to work with Queensland Health to detail her whereabouts.
The other 19-year-old has so far been unco-operative.
“I am worried about the second individual who had not been co-operative and has not shared where she has been,” she said.
“People should be very cautious … this is the time to go and get tested.”