One new Gold Coast case as changes to quarantine for COVID contacts announced

Queensland has recorded one new local COVID-19 case today, involving a Gold Coast resident who has been infectious in the community for five days.

The new local infection is the case from Mudgeeraba that was announced by health authorities on Friday as a possible positive.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the woman is believed to have acquired the virus from a casual contact at a local Bunnings store.


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“This was the person that we said was a person of interest yesterday,” Ms D’Ath said.

“We have now confirmed that they are a positive case and we are currently investigating to see what links this individual has, we understand they have been infectious in the community for five days from December 6 to December 10.”

It takes the total number of cases detected on the Gold Coast in the past two days to seven infections.

However, in some “good news”, Ms D’Ath said genomic sequencing has confirmed all of the cases are the Deltra strain and not the new Omicron variant.

The State Government today also confirmed major changes to quarantine arrangements for close contacts of COVID-19 cases, in a bid to make it easier for local businesses to operate.

From January 1, fully vaccinated close contacts will only need to quarantine for seven days instead of two weeks, but will need to get a test on day one and five.

Precautionary measures, including mask-wearing outside the home and avoiding high-risk settings will also be required for the following week.

“We know there is still a risk from day eight to 14, but we know that risk is reduced when you are fully vaccinated,” Ms D’Ath said.

“We don’t believe that businesses should need to shut down with these rules.”

Casual contacts will be required to get tested and quarantine until a negative result is received and will be encouraged to wear a mask outside the home for 14 days.

However, unvaccinated close contacts will still have to quarantine for two weeks.

Ms D’Ath said “what you have to do if you are a close contact will be all about your vaccination status”.

“To continue moving forward, we also need to acknowledge that the coming months will inevitably bring a rise in cases and increased community transmission,” she told reporters.

“For every COVID positive person, there will also be close and casual contacts.

“Managing the testing, tracing and quarantine of these people, along with bolstering surge capacity in our hospitals, will be key in keeping businesses and borders open.”

As part of the new guidelines, businesses who are visited by cases and close contacts will also not be required to shut down for a deep clean, with a normal clean accepted from the new year.

“So if it’s a restaurant, they’ve just found out, or cafe, they’ve just found out they’re an exposure site, they may stay closed for lunch so that they can do a cleaning of the tables and chairs and a good wipe down of the facility, and open up for dinner again,” Ms D’Ath said.

“It doesn’t need to be an expensive, lengthy deep clean anymore because we know more about Delta and we know that it’s much more likely to be transmitted through aerosols, as opposed to what we call fomites touching surfaces.”

Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said she’s confident the new arrangements announced today would help to minimise disruption for businesses while also managing the risks of the virus.

“We acknowledge this is a new normal for everyone, and I know all business owners just want to do the right thing,” Minister Farmer said.

“This provides the clarity and certainty of what managing COVID in the workplace looks like.

“We’ll continue to support businesses through this transition and urge them to visit the Business Queensland website.”

Requirements for casual contacts from 1 January 2022:

  • Get tested immediately and quarantine until receiving a negative result.
  • Encouraged to wear a mask outside the home for 14 days.

Requirements for vaccinated close contacts from 1 January 2022:

  • Quarantine for seven days.
  • Get a test immediately and on day five.
  • Move out of quarantine on day eight (if tested negative).
  • Precautionary measures including mask wearing outside the home and avoiding high-risk settings for days 8-14.
  • Vaccinated household contacts of close contacts do not need to quarantine, but will need a test on day one and five.
  • Unvaccinated household contacts of close contacts will need to follow the same quarantine and testing requirements as the close contact, unless they can separate from the contact.

Requirements for un-vaccinated close contacts from 1 January 2022:

  • Quarantine for 14 days.
  • Get tested immediately and on days five and 12.
  • Vaccinated household contacts of close contacts will need to quarantine for seven days, and get a test on day one and five, unless they can separate from the contact.
  • Unvaccinated household contacts of close contacts will need to follow the same quarantine and testing requirements as the close contact, unless they can separate from the contact.