Dr Young said she was concerned there were gaps in their information about potential coronavirus carriers.
“The Queensland Premier has asked the Commonwealth for data on people who’ve travelled into Queensland from Hubei province and Wuhan, and we have received some data,” she said.
“But I don’t know that it’s the full data, so this is another way to access people.”
The call comes as Queensland Parliament prepares to ram through legislation that would extend the emergency powers available to Dr Young as the state’s chief health officer.
Currently the powers can only be conferred by the Health Minister for seven days, and they can then only be extended for seven days at a time.
Health Minister Steven Miles said the amendments would allow the powers to be granted for three months at a time.
“These orders provide the ability for our public health officers to make orders on other people to keep others safe,” Mr Miles said on Tuesday.
“This will provide greater certainty to our health officers using the order as well as the public who will know for a period of time the powers are in place.”
The amendments were expected to be introduced to Parliament on Tuesday and passed by Thursday via an urgency motion.
To assuage concerns about due process, Mr Miles said the amendments would have a sunset clause after one year which would see the laws revert to their previous form.
The call for potentially infected people to step forward comes as concerns are raised about the actions of Border Force officers who detained Chinese students arriving in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Some of the students took to social media to complain about their belongings being confiscated and having their visas cancelled.
Dr Young said she wasn’t aware of the specifics of those detentions but said isolating new arrivals from China was part of the disease response.
“If a student has come from Hubei province since the 22nd of January, then they’re required to be in isolation for 14 days after leaving Hubei province, and that is true of everyone,” she said.
“Anyone who has come from mainland China or Hong Kong from the 1st of February onwards, the same applies.”
Incidents of racial prejudice against people of Asian descent, especially people of Chinese background, have been reported in Australia since the coronavirus issue began.
Gold Coast doctor Rhea Liang tweeted about a patient refusing to shake her hand, claiming it was because of virus fears, despite Dr Liang not having left Australia during the outbreak.
“I’m a New Zealander, I work in Australia, and I’ve been to China twice in my life, as a tourist,” she told BBC News.
“It worried me because [as a doctor] I have quite a lot of authority, how are people without that authority being treated? What are nurses experiencing, what’s the average Chinese person experiencing?”
So far there have been only two cases of coronavirus confirmed in Queensland – a man and a woman who were part of a tour group, who remain in isolation at Gold Coast University Hospital.
As of Tuesday 426 people had died from the disease, while more than 20,000 people had been infected across at least 23 countries.
Stuart Layt covers health, science and technology for the Brisbane Times. He was formerly the Queensland political reporter for AAP.