Polls Shut: Queenslanders Cast Their Vote As Coronavirus Cases Jump
Queenslanders headed to the polls today as the number of coronavirus cases climbed and Brisbane hotels prepared to quarantine people returning from overseas.
Voting in 77 councils and two state government seats ended at 6pm on Saturday night.
But the results may not be known by the end of the night, as more than 570,000 residents were expected to vote by mail.
Eyes will be focused on three regions in the state's southeast.
Brisbane is Australia's largest council and has been held by the Liberal National Party since 2004.
Adrian Schrinner was sworn in as Lord Mayor last year when Graham Quirk resigned. He is now in his first race for the job against Labor candidate Patrick Condren.
The former television journalist is his biggest threat.
Condren expects the result could be days away.
Ipswich and Logan will also be watched with interest after the mayors in both regions were punted from office following investigations by the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Queenslanders will also be voting new members of parliament into two state seats. They are Bundamba, left vacant after the resignation of long-serving Labor MP Jo-Ann Miller, and Currumbin, a seat held by the LNP's Jann Stuckey before her shock exit from politics.
These polls will not change the government but will be watched closely as indicators of what's to come at October's state election.
Labor holds a sizeable margin in Bundamba, while the LNP has held Currumbin since 2004.
Earlier on Saturday, Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young labelled the diagnoses of another 70 people overnight as "fairly steady", and praised people who are following the advice to stay indoors.
"That is due to all of the fantastic work done by Queenslanders," she said on Saturday morning.
"It is really important that any Queenslander who is asked to go into quarantine, if they are well, or going to isolation if they are sick ... follows that."
A majority of people with the virus are in Brisbane, with the total for the state at 625.
Passengers arriving on international flights who are either returning home or passing through will be held in the city's hotels for 14 days from Saturday night.
Health Minister Steven Miles said 1,047 people arrived in Brisbane from overseas yesterday, but that was down from about 7,000 a week ago.
"That gives you some idea of the number of people that we will be accommodating in those hotels, but we would expect that number to continue to decrease," he said.
"Our hotel sector is well equipped to cope with those kinds of numbers."
A majority of the people diagnosed with COVID-19 have been infected overseas before going on to spread the virus to people around them.
Miles also announced the state's telehealth systems would be boosted to increase the treatment of patients at home and in aged care facilities.
"More of our patients will get more of their specialist outpatient appointments from home or from their GP's clinic, avoiding exposing them to the risks of coming to hospital," he said.