Queensland has recorded 16 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, lifting Brisbane’s Delta outbreak to 79 cases.
The new cases emerged after 52,351 tests in the 24 hours to 6am on Thursday – a second consecutive daily record for the state.
They are all linked to the existing Delta variant outbreak centred on Indooroopilly in western Brisbane, which led to an eight-day lockdown of the southeast.
Another 11 new virus cases have been recorded on the ship off the coast of Queensland, but they’re safely isolated from the general population.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles says 12 of the 16 new cases in Brisbane have been in isolation for their entire infectious period, but the end of the lockdown on Sunday remains uncertain.
“We’re very pleased to be able to report this encouraging progress, but the risk of this outbreak is still very real,” he told reporters.
“There will be new contact sites loaded up today and we’d urge people to check those.
“We just need to keep it up, we just need to keep that testing right above 50,000, we need to keep staying at home.
“We need at least the next couple of days to see what happens with this outbreak, but what we know is that when we work together we can do this.”
There are 7766 people are currently in home quarantine and more almost 200 COVID-19 exposure sites for close and casual contacts across southeast, central and far north Queensland.
Three of the new cases are students at Ironside State School and nine are household contacts linked to the school.
A teacher, a student and a person linked to Brisbane Boys Grammar have also tested positive.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the four cases that were infectious in the community had only been out during day five of the southeast lockdown.
She remains optimistic the lockdown of the southeast could be gradually be wound back from 4pm on Sunday.
“I didn’t expect us to be so far in front of the virus,” Dr Young said.
“This is fantastic news, this is Queenslanders coming together brilliantly and working with us.”
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said officers had handed out 253 masks and issued 66 penalty notices to people not abiding by public health orders.