An infections expert from the University of the Sunshine Coast has warned residents to not take the foot off the gas despite a slowing of confirmed coronavirus cases. Photo: David Mariuz AAP
An infections expert from the University of the Sunshine Coast has warned residents to not take the foot off the gas despite a slowing of confirmed coronavirus cases. Photo: David Mariuz AAP

Why rates of infection have slowed on Coast

THE rate of coronavirus cases may have slowed on the Sunshine Coast but should residents "take the foot off the brake" it could drive another outbreak, an infection expert has warned.

University of the Sunshine Coast lecturer Matt Mason said the social distancing measures implemented helped slow the infection rate and flatten the curve.

Two cases have been recorded in as many days in this region with the total now standing at 71, still the highest tally outside of Brisbane or the Gold Coast.

CATCH UP ON THE LATEST LOCAL CORONAVIRUS STORIES HERE

Mr Mason, who consults to the World Health Organisation, said the strict measures needed to be continued.

"What we are seeing now is a result of what we did in terms of control a week ago. That's the timeline we're looking at," Mr Mason said.

"There's been a tightening of physical distancing, greater restrictions which helped it slow.

"But we have to keep it under check. It's not the time to take the foot off the brake.

"It's not the time to think it's safe to go have a BBQ with friends."

Mr Mason said the health system could be overwhelmed if residents did not continue to follow protocols.

He said he believed the slowed rate of infection would lead to more testing being implemented, and not only reserved for overseas incoming travellers.

"Ideally we want to see tests going up, and not a rise in cases," he said.

When asked whether he expected a spike to come following the local government elections, Mr Mason said it was too soon to tell.

"It's a tough call and one the Queensland Chief Health Officer deemed appropriate," he said.

"We will know in seven to 10 days whether it was a good idea or not."