Queensland recorded two new locally acquired cases of coronavirus on Saturday, firming up the NRL’s chances of holding Sunday’s grand final in Brisbane as planned.
The new cases were children of a Covid-positive man, reported in Friday’s figures, who has been linked to a cluster that started at Eatons Hill, north of Brisbane, last week.
The family travelled to Kirra on the Gold Coast in late September.
The children were in home quarantine when they returned positive results but Queensland’s chief health officer, Jeanette Young, said they spent a “short period of time” in the community while infectious.
Young also urged anyone in Portside, Hamilton with symptoms to get tested.
“Every single day that we don’t have community transmission is another day that more than 50,000 Queenslanders have the opportunity to get vaccinated,” she said. “We have plenty of vaccine.”
Two overseas-acquired cases were also detected in hotel quarantine on Saturday. There are now 25 active Covid-19 cases in Queensland.
The Queensland health minister, Yvette D’Ath, stopped short of giving the green light for the NRL decider on Saturday morning but gave the best indication yet the South Sydney and Penrith blockbuster would go ahead.
“A day is a long time with Covid-19 but things are looking really positive,” she said. “To know that we had five clusters happening, and the reality is we have not seen any community transmission beyond the actual workplace and household contacts, is great news.
“But it’s reliant on people coming forward and getting tested so we can see if there is any transmission happening out there and we can get on top of it very quickly.”
The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, on Thursday announced capacity at Suncorp Stadium would be reduced to 75%.
Contingency plans have varied from relocation to Townsville to a postponement of the game for at least a week if crowds are banned.
Western Australia also reportedly put in a bid to host the decider if a postponement was forced due to a lockdown in Queensland.
The Queensland government has said they will not give the go-ahead for the game to be played with 75% crowds as planned until Sunday morning, pending case numbers.
Crowd numbers have already been cut from 52,000 to 39,000 at 75% capacity and that could be dropped even further should the outbreak get out of control over the next 24 hours.
Palaszczuk has consistently rejected the idea that high-profile sporting events play any role in the state’s approach to managing the virus.
“Can I just make it very clear, if the advice is to go into lockdown, we will go into lockdown,” she said on Friday.
Stage-two restrictions are currently in place in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Logan, Townsville and Palm Island regions.