Christmas ruined: Gold Coast families forced into iso after school holiday carer tests positive

At least 30 Gold Coast families will be forced to spend Christmas in quarantine after their children were identified as close contacts of a school vacation care worker who they claim should have been isolating.

The children were taking part in a Camp Australia vacation program operated from Mudgeeraba Creek State School OSHC.

They were on a bus on their way to a day of rock climbing in Coomera on Wednesday when their trip was cut short after a carer reportedly received a phone call telling her she had tested positive for COVID-19.


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The children were taken back to the school while parents were told to come and collect their children.

Despite the carer being seated at the front of the bus, Queensland Health has deemed that all children onboard are close contacts, forcing them and their family members to isolate for two weeks.

Rachel Jones, whose daughter was on the excursion, says she’s devastated and angry.

“Yesterday we got the call from Queensland Health and they were like ‘she was a close contact and you’re going to have to go into 14 days quarantine,” Ms Jones told myGC.

“I disputed the fact that my daughter was a close contact, that she wasn’t anywhere near her on the bus. I knew about the plane and the backflip on the decision (for all passengers) to do 14 days quarantine.”

The decision to classify all children on the bus as close contacts comes despite Queensland Health this week overturning its decision relating to passengers on two infected flights.

All passengers on the flights were originally deemed close contacts, but after backlash, only those sitting near the infected passenger were forced to do two weeks quarantine.

Ms Jones says she was informed over the phone that the carer had either been tested or exposed on Sunday.

It’s not clear how long the worker is believed to have been infectious for but parents are questioning why she wasn’t isolating.

“I want an explanation. How was she even at work? What’s the duty of care?”

Camp Australia confirmed the positive case in an email to parents this week.

“We have been advised a positive COVID-19 case attended Rocketeers at our Mudgeeraba Creek State School OSHC from 10th December 2021 to 15th December 2021.

“As per the Camp Australia COVID-19 action plan our team member excluded themselves as soon as they were notified by QLD Health and immediately self-isolated.”

Children were reportedly told about the positive case while still on the bus, leaving many of them in hysterics.

“My daughter was pretty cool about it but she said there were other kids who were crying thinking they were going to die.”

Ms Jones says the length of quarantine is unfair especially at this time of year.

“Why is it 14 days? Why can’t it be seven like every other state, like it’s going to be from the 1st of January?

“We’re going to have to quarantine until the 29th of December then the rules will change.”

Health Minister Yvette D’ath this week ruled out bringing forward changes to quarantine periods.

Both Rachel and her daughter have tested negative so far.

She says Christmas has been ruined for so many families.

“It’s just my daughter and myself here. She won’t get to see her father on Christmas Day. We had a family and friends thing planned so obviously we won’t be doing that either.

“Many of the other families have been impacted. There was a family going to South Australia, another going to Tasmania. It’s just awful.”

Ms Jones has lodged an exemption request with Queensland Health to reduce their quarantine from 14 days to seven but is yet to receive a response.

Camp Australia and Queensland Health have been contacted for comment.

Related: Calls for Qld to ease quarantine rules ahead of Christmas