New Queensland Covid case after Sydney man 'infected flight attendant'

·4-min read

Queensland announced a new local case of Covid-19 on Monday as the state waits to see if there will be an outbreak after a NSW man, who tested positive, travelled across the border and infected a Qantas flight attendant.

The latest case is a fully vaccinated man who returned from China, who first tested negative three times before testing positive. 

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said it's unclear if the transmission was from hotel quarantine or the community.

"[The individual] spent two weeks in hotel quarantine, had three negative tests, then was released from hotel quarantine in Brisbane, returned home to the Gold Coast on 12 July, [then] he and his family became unwell on 13 July," she explained.

A sign on the road at the Queensland border reading: 'Covid-19 Queensland border control.'
The NSW man defied health orders and travelled to Queensland, later testing positive for Covid-19. Source: Getty Images

Queenslanders urged to 'get tested'

"There are quite a number of those [exposure sites] for people to be aware of, please, anyone who has been on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane since 13 July please look at our website and check and see if you have been to any of those exposure sites," Dr Young said on Monday.

"I have still got to see what is going on out in the community, It's too early to say that we won't get cases. We need to wait and see."

There were 10,811 tests overnight and 3492 vaccinations in the last 24 hours, with 2134 people in home quarantine.

Fury after NSW man went to Queensland while infectious

The latest case comes after a border breach on July 14, when a man travelled to Queensland despite coming in contact with a person in Sydney who tested positive for Covid-19

He is believed to have infected a flight attendant who went on to board six flights across Queensland.

The man, who later tested positive for Covid himself, is believed ignored orders to quarantine at home, following coming into contact with a colleague who tested positive to the Delta strain.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said on Sunday it was believed the man travelled from Sydney to Ballina where he was picked up by the Qantas flight attendant — a woman in her 30s — on July 14 and driven to Queensland. 

Dr Young said the flight ­attendant was legally allowed to cross the border to Ballina at the time, but the man was not allowed to leave his home or Sydney, after being told to isolate for 14 days regardless of his test result after being deemed a close contact.

Contact tracers are now trying to trace back to July 14 when it was believed he first arrived in Queensland. He is believed to have been in Queensland out of the community for seven days. 

The man is believed to have infected a Qantas flight attendant. Source: Getty
The man is believed to have infected a Qantas flight attendant. Source: Getty

The man received incorrect test results

The man was tested for Covid-19 at a private pathologist on July 12 after being informed on July 10 that he was a close contact.

However, he was incorrectly informed that he had tested negative, and when contacted by NSW Health later with positive test results, lied about his whereabouts, claiming he had remained in isolation.

Dr Young said the two active cases had been infectious in the community for a significant amount of time and visited several locations across Brisbane and the Gold Coast between July 14 and 21.

NSW Police are investigating 

NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty said the man was contacted on July 20 and NSW Health had referred the matter to NSW Police, saying he had been immediately contacted and interviewed that day.

"He stated he had been isolating since the 10th of July, however, we know this is not true” Dr McAnulty said. 

“We are concerned about the nature and extent of his exposures on the flight and in the community both in New South Wales and Queensland … we have referred the matter to NSW Police.”

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the flight attendant likely caught Covid from the man.

He added that the July 12 and 13 flights she worked on were no longer of concern, nor was public health in Gladstone, Longreach or Hervey Bay considered at risk.

But both cases were active in and around Brisbane and the Gold Coast, with numerous exposure sites listed by Queensland Health.

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

with AAP

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