As coronavirus restrictions continue to lift around Australia, the country is being warned the virus could "take hold" if people don't get themselves tested after a nurse slipped under the radar in Queensland.

The nurse, who continued working through mild symptoms and took a trip to Brisbane, was diagnosed with the virus yesterday. Today, the state's chief health officer said this should serve as a warning the virus could resurge if people with even mild symptoms didn't come forward to get tested, despite only one new case being confirmed in the state overnight.

Australia reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases in almost a month yesterday.

Thirty cases were confirmed on Friday, two in Queensland, eight in New South Wales and 20 in Victoria, where two outbreaks at a McDonald's restaurant and meat processing facility continue to grow.

Advertisement

In total, Australia has recorded 7035 cases of Covid-19: 3071 in New South Wales, 1554 in Victoria, 1054 in Queensland, 439 in South Australia, 554 in Western Australia, 226 in Tasmania, 107 in the Australian Capital Territory and 30 in the Northern Territory.

The death toll stands at 98.

Restrictions eased, but 'let's not party'

As restrictions ease across the nation, Australians are being warned to take their new-found freedoms carefully for fear of sparking a second wave of the deadly coronavirus.

States and territories have begun the first stage of a three-stage process to lift restrictions on outdoor and indoor gatherings and business operations.

But Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone urged people to remain vigilant because the virus was still present in the community and could flare up as hot spots or small outbreaks.

"If we do the wrong things, we risk undoing all the gains that we've made so far, Batone told the ABC today.

"So, the message is, yes, appreciate all the efforts, appreciate the opportunity to release some of those measures, but let's not have a party, let's not go to town."

He said people must still maintain social distance, cough etiquette, washing hands regularly and staying away from others if they are unwell.

Advertisement

"Those messages are really the backbone as we progressively lift those restrictions," he said.

Warning virus could 'take hold' despite few cases

Despite more good coronavirus news from Queensland, the state's chief health officer has warned the virus could "take hold" if people don't come forward to get tested.

Dr Jeannette Young's warning comes after a Rockhampton nurse had been sick for some time before getting tested and was yesterday confirmed as having the coronavirus.

The nurse, who yesterday sparked the lockdown at the state-run North Rockhampton Nursing Centre, had been sent for coronavirus testing after showing symptoms but went back to her workplace before the positive test result was returned.

Subscribe to Premium

Young said it was vital people got tested as soon as they started showing any symptoms, despite the state just recording one new case overnight and restrictions continuing to be lifted.

"There is a danger that, if we lift restrictions and people don't come forward and get tested as soon as they develop symptoms, that the virus could take hold," she said.

Advertisement

"I don't think that will happen, because Queenslanders have done a fantastic job to date. They have really been very cautious and they have come forward, in their thousands, every single day to get tested.

"It is just now that that has become more important than ever. I can't overstress, overemphasise that importance."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

in footer