COVID-19 restrictions eased
Following advice from Queensland Health, we are we now able to relax restrictions at Woodford Correctional Centre, Wolston Correctional Centre, Borallon Training and Correctional Centre; and Escort and Security Branch (Escorts) effective today (4 September).
These Centres will revert to Stage 3 restrictions.
There are a small number of prisoners subject to a quarantine notices in Woodford, Wolston and Borallon who must remain quarantined (from other prisoners and staff) until their quarantine period is over, but the majority of prisoners will no longer be in lockdown, and where possible a structured day will be re-implemented.
This is based on advice that there are currently no confirmed COVID-19 cases within the prisoner population nor the officers in these centres.
The recommendation to move these centres originally to stage 4 was out of an abundance of caution given the movement of prisoners between these centres and to give Queensland Health time to gain a clearer picture of the risk to the officers and prisoners in these centres.
It is now clear that as a result of the quick action by QCS and Queensland Health that the risk at these centres has reduced markedly.
This would mean that from today, Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre (AGCC) will be the only centre in Stage 4. If there are no positive tests from prisoners or officers, AGCC is on track to return to Stage 3 at the end of the 14 day quarantine period.
On Queensland Health advice, due to a large public sporting event in North Queensland over the coming weekend, the Capricornia, Lotus Glen and Townsville correctional centres will be moved to Stage 2 restrictions.
This is due to the potential for a large movement of the population from the South East corner of Queensland to North Queensland. It is envisaged that Stage 2 would remain in place until 20 September to allow Queensland Health the time to establish any potential community impact as a result of this event.
We are working our way through this current threat environment, guided by the best advice from the Chief Health Officer and the team at Queensland Health.
Finally, can I finish by thanking all of our officers, from every part of our organisation, who have stepped in to support the safe and secure operations of our prisons in recent weeks. We are operating in unprecedented times, and your willingness to assist and commitment to public safety is both remarkable and very welcome.
I am proud to lead an agency which responds so professionally and selflessly to such challenging times.
Thank you again for your commitment to your role as the front line of public safety.
Peter Martin APM
Queensland Corrective Services