A man accused of hosting a party with 25 friends while awaiting Covid test results did no such thing, Annastacia Palaszczuk has admitted.
Queensland recorded one new locally transmitted case as it tries to prevent a widespread outbreak and yet another lockdown in Brisbane.
The Sunshine State was put on high alert on Friday after a 26-year-old Stafford man, from Brisbane’s north, tested positive to the highly-infectious UK variant of the virus.
Authorities then claimed a close contact of the known case ignored orders to self-isolate and instead threw a party with 25 friends after he was tested for Covid on Friday afternoon, and before he got his positive result.
But they’ve now admitted that further investigations indicated there were only five people at the home.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) has admitted there was a mistake made
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said it was ‘inflammatory’ to refer to the gathering on Friday night as a party.
Instead, he said there were just five people present in the house and that there was ‘no evidence’ anybody in attendance committed an offence.
The 25 people first identified as being at the party were initially forced to self isolate, but there are now just five people who are undergoing mandatory quarantine.
It is understood most of the people at the gathering and now in isolation were the man’s housemates.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the information they provided the public was ‘given by the man himself’ while assisting contact tracers.
The Sunshine State was put on high alert on Friday after a 26-year-old Stafford man, from Brisbane’s north, tested positive to the highly infectious UK varient of the virus. Pictured: Two people wear face masks
But she admitted there is a possibility that authorities misunderstood the information he provided.
She said the update that the information they first disseminated was wrong only came through on Sunday morning.
‘I understand that as time has gone on, and overnight, there has been further investigation, an independent investigation from what the gentleman had said, whether it was a misunderstanding at the time or what it was, I can’t tell you, ‘ Ms D’ath said.
‘But that’s what the health officials who originally spoke to this gentleman, when they first picked him up, that is what they understood had been said and that had to be acted on quickly.’
Ms D’Ath asked people to refrain from threatening and abusing people online as mistakes can occasionally happen, but said the outcome was ‘extremely fortunate’.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk closed aged care centres, hospitals and prisons to visitors in Brisbane in the wake of the outbreak (pictured, testing in February)
‘That the numbers are far lower and it is contained to predominantly housemates, that is a good outcome, much better outcome than what we thought was occurring yesterday,’ she said.
‘It is disappointing that we have ended up in this situation, but we also have to act on the information that we have at the time.’
Dr Young said the scare is a reminder that Queensland is not out of the woods yet and that Covid still poses a major risk.
She said she would not make any promises regarding potential future lockdowns as she urged people to come forward and get tested.
‘I cannot rule out anything but I’m very hopeful if we do our bit, which is to come forward and get tested when you are sick, as our first case did. He came forward while I’m sure he was thinking this can’t possibly be COVID and tested positive. So we just need people to not make any assumptions,’ she said.
The state recorded three new cases of Covid on Sunday, including one within the community.
The new case is the brother of the 26-year-old man who sparked the fears of an outbreak when he tested positive on Thursday.
Dr Young explained on Sunday the brother is likely the ‘missing link’ contact tracers have been searching for.
Early indications suggest the virus was in his system longer than his brother and that he has entirely recovered, suggesting he was infected first and passed the virus on.
Authorities are investigating whether he came into contact or had any connection with a doctor from the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane on March 13.
Genomic sequencing confirmed that his brother had the same strain as the doctor, and Queensland Health say the cases are likely linked.
Some other states have quickly imposed restrictions on travel from Queensland (pictured: people arriving in Brisbane from Sydney in December)
QUEENSLAND VENUES ON ALERT
Anyone who has been to the following venues in the specified time frames must get tested regardless of whether they have symptoms and isolate immediately until they receive a negative result:
Saturday March 20
Black Hops Brewery, East Brisbane 12:22pm-1:51pm
Green Beacon brewing Co. Teneriffe 2pm-3:12pm
Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill 3:44pm-5:30pm
Monday March 22
PCYC Lawnton, Lawnton 7:16am-8:10am
Bunnings Lawnton 3:15pm-3:30pm
Strathpine Plaza Shopping Centre, Strathpine 3.43pm-3.49pm
Tuesday March 23
Zambrero Lawnton 12:51pm-12:55pm
Lawnton Fruit Market, Lawnton 1.57pm-2.05pm
Nellas Gourmet Tucker, Lawnton 3:37pm-3:47pm
Poolwerx Strathpine, Strathpine 3.15pm-3.57pm
Dan Murphy’s Strathpine 7:26pm-7:36pm
Wednesday March 24
Hungry Jacks Strathpine 7.47pm (Drive through)
Lawton Country Markets, Lawnton 2.36pm-2.43pm
Thursday March 25
BWS Strathpine 6:15pm-6:30pm
Ceres Pizza Café, Strathpine 7.00pm-7.58pm