Qld flight attendant went to Dreamworld

·4-min read

A Queensland flight attendant with the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 visited Dreamworld, ate at a popular Gold Coast restaurant and also crewed six flights around the state.

Queensland could be plunged into another lockdown if tests show the QantasLink attendant spread COVID-19 to any of the centres she visited earlier this month.

They include Gladstone, Longreach and Hervey Bay, which the woman flew to and from, the Gold Coast, and her home city of Brisbane.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young revealed early on Friday that the attendant did not seek a test until Wednesday this week - nine days after she began showing symptoms on July 13.

It's presumed she was infectious two days before that, putting at risk every passenger and colleague on six flights she crewed on July 11 and 12.

Now it's emerged that the woman's initial claims to have been "essentially" at her Brisbane home from July 13 onwards are incorrect.

Seven exposure sites have been listed stretching from the Gold Coast to Brisbane and north to Caboolture between July 16 and 20.

They include Dreamworld, the Koi Broadbeach restaurant, Woolworths and BWS at Banyo, the Chemist Warehouse at Virginia, the busy Sandstone Point Hotel north of Brisbane, and the Sundowner Hotel at Caboolture.

Queenslanders have been urged to check the Queensland Health exposure sites list and, if they were at those venues, strictly follow the advice on testing and any quarantining requirements.

The woman returned a positive result on Thursday, one day after she finally presented for testing. She's since been taken from her Banyo home and is now in a COVID hospital.

Dr Young could not explain why the woman waited so long after the onset of symptoms to get tested and said all Queenslanders must closely monitor the list of exposure sites in coming days.

Tracing teams are going through passenger lists for the six at-risk flights to ensure everyone is isolating and getting tested.

Genomic sequencing has shown the flight attendant has a form of the virus identical to 60 cases from the NSW cluster, and her job did involve travel to NSW.

Dr Young says test results due in the next day or so will reveal if Queensland is in trouble. She has expressed a level of confusion about the lack of other cases so far, given how much time has passed.

"We know that with the Delta variant it usually spreads within two days. In Victoria they're seeing spread from one person to the next in 30 hours," she said.

"I would have expected there'd be spread and then spread and then spread, and I've not seen that."

She said there would be a "fast" lockdown if there was a need for one.

The flight attendant flew on six regional services on a 74-seat Dash-8 Q400 aircraft.

QantasLink said there'd been no other reports of cases associated with the flights so far.

The flights have all been listed as exposure sites, along with the Brisbane, Gladstone, Longreach and Hervey Bay domestic airports. The Gladstone Mercure Hotel is also an exposure site as the woman stayed there on July 11.

Meanwhile, Queensland is firming up its border closure with NSW by erecting concrete barriers and hard checkpoints on the M1 and the Gold Coast Highway.

Police have warned there will be a few days of traffic pain ahead, as people get used to new permits for the border travel bubble, which allows residents on both sides to cross for a limited number of essential reasons.

Acting Premier Steven Miles has said Queensland won't be diverting any of its Pfizer vaccine to hardest hit NSW, because the state has barely enough to honour second doses for Queenslanders who've already had their first shots.

"I don't think we would consider putting Queenslanders in that kind of situation, where the benefit of their vaccine is compromised by a delay in the second dose," he told ABC television on Friday.

Testing capacity has been boosted in Gladstone, Longreach and Hervey Bay to pick up any cases that might be active there.

Queensland's borders remain closed to NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

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