Party blunder: Minister can’t explain how they got it wrong
Health Minister Yvette D'Ath has been unable to explain how authorities got reports a COVID-positive man hosted a house party attended by 25 people so wrong.
Authorities were forced to back-pedal on Sunday morning, stating that the Strathpine man had only been at home with five other people - four of whom were his housemates.
That came after Queensland Health issued a statement on Saturday night that read: "More locations may be added after it was revealed the Strathpine man hosted a gathering of around 25 people at his home between being instructed to isolate and getting his positive test results.
"The attendees at the party have been placed in quarantine while the risk is assessed."
Ms D'Ath on Sunday said she couldn't say why authorities earlier believed the man had held a party with 25 people.
"I understand that as time has gone on, and overnight, there has been further investigation, an independent investigation from what the gentleman had said, whether it was a misunderstanding at the time or what it was, I can't tell you, " Ms D'Ath said.
"But that's what the health officials who originally spoke to this gentleman, when they first picked him up, that is what they understood had been said and that had to be acted on quickly.
"I ask people to be very careful in abusing and … threatening people online. We've seen it with some of the businesses. We don't need to treat individuals like this."
Ms D'Ath said it was "extremely unfortunate" that it was originally reported as 25 people at a party.
"This is the information that was received by this gentleman himself when he was first picked up by the health officials," she said.
"Now, whether the health officials misunderstood what he said, I was not there, I didn't hear the conversation.
"This is the information that they believe that he had provided them at the time.
"I am very pleased that the information has shown that we don't have 25 people out there in the community potentially at risk.
"That the numbers are far lower and it is contained to predominantly the housemates, that is a good outcome, much better outcome that what we thought was occurring yesterday.
"It is disappointing that we have ended up in this situation, but we also have to act on the information that we have at the time."
Despite Queensland Health's mistake, Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski implored that incorrect information be immediately corrected, describing it as "inflammatory".
"I'm trying to set the record right and say please stop reporting there was a party of 25 going on, because that's not the case," Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said.
"The reporting that we've seen around the matter of the young man testing positive, and the reporting there was a party at his place - now we know that's not the case.
"While there were some initial concerns around a party being held at his place with 25 people … the contact tracing following that has revealed there were only five people.
"Calling it a party is really inflammatory in some ways and it's not quite right … Do you say that you have five of your housemates there and you're having a party? I don't think so."
Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said there was no indication of any breaches to the Public Health Act however police would continue to investigate.
Opposition Leader David Crisafulli accused the government of "clumsy communication" over the past fortnight.
"Openness, transparency and consistency are the basic hallmarks of any good government," he said on Sunday.
"We owe it to the community not to be rushing to conclusions as the worst thing we can do is pour fuel on the mixed messages coming from the government."
Originally published as Party blunder: Minister can't explain how Qld Health got it so wrong