QUEENSLAND has recorded no new local COVID cases despite three positive cases spending time in the community across the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
13,081 tests were conducted across the state over the last 24 hours, including many on the Gold Coast, after it was revealed on Monday a local man had spent more than a week out in public while infectious.
He had spent two weeks in hotel quarantine in Brisbane after returning from a trip to China before becoming unwell.
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The source of his infection was a mystery on Monday but Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, has confirmed genome sequencing has since shown the man picked up the virus while in hotel quarantine.
“He has exactly the same sequence, it’s identical, no snips different, with a traveller who returned from South Africa via Doha,” Dr Young said.
“We had that person come back as part of a family group and they went into one hotel and then we had others in another group who went into a different hotel and they’ve all become positive subsequently and have the same genome sequence.
“They were all on the same flight from Doha to Brisbane that arrived on 8 July.
“Now we’ve seen this gentleman, who was on the same floor, in fact in the room opposite to one of those others, has contracted the infection from that person.”
All of those cases have been confirmed to have the Delta variant.
Health officials will now work to contact everyone else who was staying on the same floor at the time to see if there are any other missed cases.
However, Dr Young is hopeful the risk to the community is low.
“This gentleman was fully vaccinated and we do have some serology back that suggests that he had antibodies,” she said.
“So the vaccine had worked but despite that he still got infected. It took a while for his infection to declare itself so we this that initially indeterminate result with a high CT level and we got the subsequent confirmation that yes, he did have the infection.
“So I do think his infection is unlikely to have spread to anyone else but I am still very, very worried about the other two individuals, who one who came up from Sydney to Ballina and was picked up at Ballina and then came into Queensland with that other person, the Kwan tal regional flight crew member.
“They have been out and about in our community while infectious for a while so it’s really important. I can’t overemphasise it. Please could everyone keep wearing their masks, because I genuinely think that has made a difference for Queensland in not seeing large cases out of any of these infected people.”
But Dr Young stressed there was still a long way to go before she could feel confident we’ve escaped another outbreak.
“We’re still within that 14 days incubation and we know that, although Delta tends to create cases early, it still has cases up to 12, 13 days later so it’s still far too early for any of us to relax,” Dr Young said.
So far no other members of the man’s family have tested positive for COVID-19.
She urged Queenslanders to keep a close eye on the Queensland Health website to check for updates to the list of exposure sites.
“If you’ve been anywhere in Brisbane or the Gold Coast since that 12th, 13th of July at any time, please make sure every 24 hours you check the website because we do get more sites as we talk to these cases that they remember where they’ve been and we put those sites up. That’s very, very important as we go forward.”
Meanwhile, Queensland Police said investigations into the man who escaped Sydney lockdown and travelled with a flight attendant from Ballina to Queensland are ongoing.
“We’re satisfied we’ve got all the information we need to undertake comprehensive contact tracing and our investigation into any breaches will be concluded later today and we’ll be able to advice what happens with that then,” Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.
There is a chance Victorians and South Australians could soon be allowed back into the state, as we wait to hear from both states about their COVID situations.
“We will await any form of decision from those two jurisdictions before we make any decisions as to any changes to travel from Victoria and South Australia to Queensland,” Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.
“I understand some figures are out this morning for Victoria, which look very positive, but we will await to see what the decisions of those two jurisdictions are and if they lift their lockdowns, what the level of restrictions are going to be going forward to figure out where we go next and update the people of Queensland after that.”