Correctional centres in Queensland have been placed into stage four lockdown after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, affecting thousands of inmates across the state.
The staff member who tested positive has been identified as a corrective services trainer who trained 14 recruits and worked alongside 11 colleagues, all who have been tested and are now in quarantine.
According to the Commissioner for Queensland Corrective Services, Peter Martin, around 7000 inmates will remain in “extreme isolation” until advice from the Chief Health Officer says otherwise.
“What we’ve done is we’ve taken the very cautious step in consultation with the advice from Queensland Health, to move to stage 4 which is extreme isolation,” said Mr Martin.
“Stage four restrictions will be in place until the chief health officer advises us that it's not required.
“There will be no social and personal visits and also professional visits that would normally occur, will not be allowed.
“In short, what that means is that the prison will be in lockdown in terms of all but the essential staff that is Queensland Health and QCS staff accessing the prison to do their important work.”
In Queensland, more than 30 per cent of adult men and women incarcerated are Indigenous, whilst the number is around 40 per cent for youth affected in the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre.
The latest lockdown comes after a supervisor at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre also tested positive for COVID19 last week. Hundreds of staff and children were forced into lockdown as a result.
Overnight, two new cases were confirmed, which included the male trainer aged in his sixties.