Australian News

Dozens catch COVID-19 after 50th birthday party

Just under 30 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus after a 50th birthday party was held at an up-market restaurant on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The event was held at Sails Restaurant in Noosa and of the people who attended 24 have now been confirmed as having COVID-19, Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington said.

“This was a private 50th birthday party, of which 24 people have now tested positive of those who attended that party at Sails restaurant,” he said in a statement.

“Only four of those live on the Sunshine Coast, the rest have dispersed elsewhere in southeast Queensland.

“Health authorities are tracing all those participants and they say that there is a low risk to the community generally as a result of that event.”

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Queensland Health released a statement today confirming that four of the restaurant’s staff members had also tested positive for the virus.

“These staff members worked at the restaurant on Wednesday 18 4pm – 11.15pm and Thursday 19 March 3pm – 10pm while unknowingly infectious,” the statement read.

“Queensland Health is calling for people who attended the restaurant during those times to monitor their health for 14 days from those dates and see a doctor immediately if they develop any symptoms.”

Queensland Health said there is no risk to anyone who was in the restaurant before or after this period.

Sails Restaurant has been closed since 23 March 2020.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said this cluster of cases showed why it was important to cut down on social gatherings.

“I think this is a really clear example everyone about why we can no longer have parties. The time for parties has to stop now,’ she said.

“I want it to be a strong message for all age groups out there, you cannot do this, guys. You cannot do this now and in the foreseeable future.

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“The time for partying will be when we get through this coronavirus. This is a very clear example of what not to do.”

Queensland closed its borders overnight in a bid to slow the spread of the virus across the state.

Ms Palaszczuk has told outsiders not to visit the state and threatened a $13,000 fine for people who break new self-isolation rules.

“I make no apologies for protecting Queenslanders’ health, full stop,” she said.

“I ask people to be patient but I also ask people if you do not need to come to Queensland, please do not come to Queensland.”

Camping grounds will also be closed from Thursday.

Stage two restrictions announced by the government last night mean a number of venues will be closed, including pubs, clubs, cinemas, sporting venues, gyms, places of worship, auctions and open houses, beauty therapy and tattooists, amusement parks, libraries, galleries, museums, swimming pools and play centres.

Hairdressers and barbers are limited to 30-minute appointments while all dining out options can serve takeaway and home deliveries only.

Weddings are limited to five people and funerals to 10.

With AAP

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