There have been no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases recorded in Queensland, a day after a Brisbane tourist was confirmed to have spent time in the community while infectious.
There have been 25,362 tests conducted across Queensland in the last 24 hours. The only positive case was overseas acquired and detected in hotel quarantine.
Health officials confirmed on Thursday, the Brisbane tourist who was confirmed positive yesterday has the Alpha strain of the virus.
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Genome sequencing appears to show he contracted the virus on his flight from overseas as he has the same strain as three other travellers who were on the same flights from the Philippines to Papua New Guinea and then on to Brisbane earlier this month.
“So he’s clearly acquired it in transit to Queensland,” Dr Young said.
“We then realise that is a longer incubation period than we would normally expect but we know around 1 percent of people can have an incubation period longer than 14 days, as has happened with this gentleman.”
The CHO also revealed the man did fly to Western Australia after finishing his stint in hotel quarantine.
However, when he arrived he was denied entry into WA and was put up in hotel quarantine there for a couple of days before returning to Queensland. He was also tested while in WA and health officials are waiting to see the results of those tests to see if he was infectious then or not.
They are also working with the man to confirm his flight details to and from Brisbane and will make them public later today.
“We will contact trace the people who sat around him given he has got the Alpha variant and contact trace them,” Dr Young said.
Dr Young said the man then went to a Brisbane hostel on July 20 where he spent most of the next few days.
“He essentially stayed in his room there because he was starting to feel increasingly unwell,” she said.
“The other two people in the room have tested negative, which is good.”
62 people in total at the backpacker’s facilities listed as exposure sites have been tracked down and tested and 59 of them have returned negative results so far.
Dr Young said the tourists staying in the backpackers were now being managed.
“We have worked with the manager and we are going to keep those people in the backpackers hotel,” Dr Young said.
“We are not moving them into a quarantine hotel because we are comfortable with some extra support for that hotel, we can manage all of these people there.
“We will just have to work out which of them have been close contacts and which casual, so who needs to remain there and who we can allow to return to their normal lives.
“All of that work is happening at the moment. That is all very reassuring.”
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath also revealed mask wearing restrictions will stay in place for the 11 LGA’s across the south east for another week due to the recent cases.
“We know that people were hoping that the masks will lift,” Minister D’Ath said.
“But I think we are up to 13 incursions of the virus through different outbreaks in Queensland over the last six weeks.
“We have been able to contain all of these outbreaks to very small numbers. That is in some small part to the restrictions we have had in place and particularly mask-wearing and people isolating themselves at home when they’re unwell and those who are on home quarantine directions.”
The restrictions had been due to end at 6am on Friday but will now remain in place until Friday August 6.
The masks rules are as follows:
- You must carry a face mask with you at all times, and you must wear a face mask at all times when you are outside your home, unless:
- You are alone in your car or with the members of your household
- You are eating or drinking
- You are at your usual workplace and can physically distance from others (except if you work in a hospitality venue or are a passenger transport operator)
- You are alone outdoors or with members of your household
- It is unsafe.
- There are some other exceptions to wearing face masks, including for children under 12 and people with particular medical conditions or disabilities. But if in doubt, wear a face mask.