One new local case in Qld, border bubble at risk amid Byron sewage results

Queensland officials have confirmed a flight attendant has tested positive to the highly infectious Delta strain of COVID-19.

The woman, aged in her 30’s, lives in Banyo but has worked on a number of regional flights in Queensland and parts of regional NSW.

Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, said the woman was infectious in the community for more than a week.


“She came forward and got tested on 21 July. Her symptoms started on the 13th of July, so we are deeming her infectious period back to 11 July,” Dr Young said.

She crewed six flights across July 11 and 12 between Brisbane and Longreach, Gladstone and Hervey Bay.

Those flights include Qantas flight 2534 from Brisbane to Longreach, Qantas flight 2535 from Longreach to Brisbane and Qantas flight 2346 from Brisbane to Gladstone all on 11 July.

She then stayed the night at the Mecure Hotel in Gladstone before flying from Gladstone to Brisbane on Qantas flight 2331 on July 12.

She also flew from Brisbane to Hervey Bay on Qantas flight 2374 and from Hervey Bay to Brisbane, on Qantas flight 2375 on the same day.

“We are working with her to look at where she was and what she did from 13 July when she became unwell,” Dr Young said.

“Initially, she’s told us that she essentially stayed at home, so we are just working that through to check that is the case and whether there are any exposure venues.”

Dr Young said genomic sequencing had confirmed she had the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus that was identical to the strain detected in the Virgin flight attendant who recently tested positive in Queensland as well as dozens of others in Sydney.

“She has the Delta variant and it is exactly the same as around 60 Delta variants that have been loaded up on the public database. No snips different to those 60,” Dr Young said.

“We are not sure how she has acquired it but she has acquired the Delta variant that is circulating today in Sydney.

“We know that is a very, very contagious variant, so that is why I want everyone on those flights immediately tested.”

Acting Premier Deputy Steven Miles also confirmed officials were keeping an extremely close eye on the developing situation in Byron Bay, after NSW Health confirmed late on Thursday night of positive fragments in the sewage.

“New South Wales is not yet aware of any cases in Byron Bay but clearly, given the fact that Byron is within the border zone that we announced yesterday and implemented overnight, we will be monitoring that closely,” Mr Miles said.

The Acting Premier admits it could have an impact on the border bubble, given Byron Bay is within the zone.

“What is at stake is the border zone itself,” he said.

“If we can’t keep that border zone safe, we won’t be able to keep those arrangements in place and people won’t be able to move.

“It is really important that they only move for those essential purposes.”

There have been long delays at the border this morning with some motorists waiting as long as two hours to cross over into Queensland.

Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said it was likely the delays would continue for some time.

“Now is a time for patience,” he said.

“We have seen .. there has been delays, there are backups. That will continue.

“We always know that as we get through this and people get used to the new system, and there has been changes to the border direction, in particular the cross border direction, people really need to make sure they understand that.

“As always, anyone who is trying to do the right thing and might get it wrong, we will work with them.

“But it is very important if they can get it right before they get to the border they’re going to get through much more quickly.”