SEVERAL parishes on Brisbane’s southside have been asked to cancel weekday Masses and gatherings until Saturday following the recording of three new cases of coronavirus in Queensland.
In a letter to parishes sent yesterday, auxiliary Bishop Ken Howell instructed parishes to cancel all Masses and gatherings in the wake of the new cases.
The parishes that will need to cancel services and gatherings until midday Saturday are based on the locations of aged care homes that will close temporarily for precautionary measures.
These included the parish communities of Woodridge, Kingston Marsden, Regent’s Park, Sunnybank, Acacia Ridge, Inala, Goodna, Springfield, Loganholme, Daisy Hill, Rochedale, Beenleigh and Beaudesert.
“I am grateful to these parish priests for being so accommodating during this uncertain time,” Bishop Howell wrote.
“To help protect the wider community as well as vulnerable members of our parishes in these areas, it has been decided that all remaining weekday Mass services and gatherings until 12pm on Saturday August 1 are cancelled, effective immediately.”
Queensland Health yesterday morning announced two 19-year-old women from Logan and Acacia Ridge tested positive for coronavirus.
They had returned from Melbourne via Sydney on July 21 and allegedly avoided hotel quarantine, which is a requirement for anyone crossing into Queensland from Victoria.
Health officials said the two women “had gone about their business in their communities” while infected with the virus for eight days.
Authorities said the situation was impacting the areas of Logan, Acacia Ridge and Springfield.
A third case was also announced late yesterday afternoon, known to be a 22-year-old woman and confirmed close contact of one of the two women who tested positive.
Early yesterday afternoon Springfield parish announced on their Facebook page it had closed the church for Mass and private prayer until further notice.
Ipswich Catholic Community’s parish administrator told his community in an eNewsletter last night that he would be reviewing the parish’s activities in light of the new cases.
“I will be reviewing our planned parish activities over the coming months to ensure we remain safe and up to date with COVID compliance,” Fr Bliss wrote.
Generous donation of touch-free hand sanitiser units
A few hundred automatic hand sanitiser dispenser units have been donated to the Archdiocese of Brisbane for parish use.
Each unit comes with 5L of hand sanitiser.
The Archdiocese’s Workplace Health and Safety Office is making these available to interested parishes until August 7.
Parishes can contact the office with a request for units by emailing the Workplace Health and Safety Office.
No visitors allowed in nursing homes
Following the confirmed new cases of COVID-19, all aged care centres in the Metro South region have will be locked down for 48 hours as of yesterday morning.
The decision restricts all visitors from entering into an aged care facility to prevent any spread of the virus to vulnerable members of the community.
“Due to these new cases, Queensland Health has implemented changes to visiting aged care facilities, in order to continue to protect the most vulnerable in our community,” Queensland Health said in a press statement yesterday.
“Effective immediately, aged care facilities on Brisbane’s South will not be permitted to take visitors due to the increased risk of infection. Additionally, there will be an increase in screening for COVID-19 and a limitation on staff transfers between facilities.”
‘Reckless’ actions an inconvenience to Queenslanders
Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said she was “very disappointed” with the current situation, which marked the first positive test of coronavirus outside of quarantine since May.
“I think it was reckless,” Dr Young said.
“As a result of that a lot of people are going to be inconvenienced, and I do apologise to those people for what is now going to have to occur.
“But we know if we act really fast now, we can stop this spreading further and cause even more inconvenience to a lot of people.”
Queensland Health is now urging anyone who was at the following locations and times to “immediately self-quarantine and contact 13 HEALTH” and anyone experiencing even mild symptoms must be tested.
- Flights VA863 – Mel – Syd and VA977 – Syd – Bne on July 21
- Parklands Christian College, Park Ridge on July 22-23 at 9.30am-6pm
- Madtongsan IV Restaurant, Sunnybank on July 23 between 7-9pm
- Heeretea -Bubble Tea Shop, Sunnybank on July 23 from 9.25pm
- YMCA Chatswood Hills Outside School Hours Care, Springwood o on July 23-24
- Primary Medical and Dental Practice, Browns Plains on July 24 between 3.30-3.50pm
- Thai Peak Restaurant, Springfield on July 26 between 6.30-9pm
- Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar, Southbank on July 20 27 20
- P’Nut Street Noodles, Southbank on July 27
- African Grocery Shop, Woodridge (Station Rd) on July 28
- Primary Medical and Dental Practice, Browns Plains on July 28 between 12.25-12.30pm
- Chatime Grand Plaza, Browns Plains on July 28
Some fever clinics have extended their hours to cope with the increased amount of testing.
- Orion Springfield Central Shopping Centre western car park (pop up clinic) open 9am-4pm from Thursday July 30 – Sunday August 2
- Parklands Fever Clinic (school community testing) open 9am on Thursday July 30
- QEII Hospital Fever Clinic from Wednesday July 29 – Friday July 31 from 8am-8pm
- Logan Hospital Fever Clinic Thursday 30 July from 8am-9pm