Qld govt grants exemption to sick toddler

A two-year-old Sunshine Coast girl who underwent open-heart surgery in Sydney will be able to recover at home after the Queensland Government relented on a quarantine ruling.

Luella Gilliland had the life-saving surgery at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital last week.

The operation was already scheduled when the Palaszczuk government shut Queensland’s borders to NSW.

However, when the toddler’s parents applied for a medical exemption to the state’s mandatory hotel quarantine they were knocked back.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said on Monday, the initial request hadn’t convinced her that Luella’s parents understood the necessity of quarantine. 

But after receiving a second application, including recommendations from five medical specialists on Sunday, Dr Young granted the Gilliland’s permission to have the two-year-old recover at home. 

Luella’s mother, Laurren Gilliland said it was a victory for common sense.

“I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive the Queensland government for the momentous stress they’ve caused our family during what has already been a traumatic time,” she posted on Facebook Sunday. 

The decision came as Queensland authorities expanded a public health alert from 40 to 67 locations across the Greater Brisbane region and Ipswich.

Dr Young has recommended all patients, staff and visitors don masks at the regions’ hospitals.

She also urged residents in those areas to consider wearing a mask if unable to socially distance.

Queensland recorded just one new case overnight, a close relative of a staff member at a Brisbane youth detention facility.

There are now 10 cases connected to the cluster after a supervisor was diagnosed with the Virus on Wednesday.

The 77-year-old Ipswich woman had experienced mild symptoms and continued to work while infectious.

All 130 young people at the detention centre have been tested with just 16 out of its 500 staff yet to be checked, Doctor Young said.

And police continue to trace 92 children released from the facility since July 22 with half of those also undergoing testing. 

“I’m being really, really cautious here. I think most of those are not a risk,” Dr Young said.

The detention centre’s staff are set to be swapped out midweek for an all-new workforce.

Department of Youth Justice director-general Bob Gee last week announced more than 100 staff members from the Department of Justice and additional officers from police and corrective services will come on board as current staff undergo quarantine.

There are 18 active cases in the state with about 6300 COVID-19 tests conducted in the past 24 hours.

Health Minister Steven Miles said the number was not enough and encouraged more people to get themselves checked.

“It’s very critical over the next seven to 14 days, if you have any symptoms whatsoever, please go and get tested.”

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