Not over yet: Expert's warning despite 'promising' signs
THE Sunshine Coast's response to COVID-19 restrictions has been described as "promising", with just one new case confirmed for the region since Saturday.
The total number of cases on the Sunshine Coast is at 85, after one person tested positive on Tuesday night.
As of yesterday afternoon, Queensland's total was 943.
University of the Sunshine Coast nursing lecturer Matt Mason said the four-day streak where the region had no new cases was a promising sign residents had followed new restrictions.
But he warned it was not the time to become complacent, in particular during the Easter long weekend.
Modelling released this week by Prime Minister Scott Morrison showed authorities had bought valuable time in the fight against COVID-19.
Experts from the Peter Doherty Institute, who prepared the modelling, warned relaxing current measures would result in a rapid and explosive resurgence of the virus.
University of Melbourne epidemiologist James McCaw said the number of new cases would decline as restrictions were enforced, but that the population was "still largely susceptible" to the virus.
Mr Mason said new isolation rules for residents returning from overseas had helped reduce the number of new cases on the Coast.
Adding he did not like the term "social distancing" and preferred "physical distancing", he said residents staying two metres away from each other was another beneficial measure.
"We've stopped importing cases from overseas so now we need to ensure we don't have any cases involving local transmission," Mr Mason said.
"You'd really need a crystal ball to suggest what could happen, but what we'd like to see is to maintain the physical-distancing restrictions we have now so we don't get an increase in local transmission.
"If we do that, the next two months should be similar to what we're seeing now."
Mr Mason said it would be easier to grasp where Australia stood once the nation formed its own models, which could be a month away.
"This is potentially going to go on for a long time and that's hard to say because we know people are out there struggling," he said.
"But if we lift these restrictions, not only do we have people economically impacted, but we will impact others health-wise."
Queensland Health confirmed yesterday that contact tracing was being completed for nine new cases. It will notify the community if any other public health alerts are required.
As of yesterday, the southeast had the highest concentration of cases, with 504 in Brisbane's north and south regions, 178 in the Gold Coast and 85 on the Sunshine Coast.