Queensland records another local Covid case

·Assistant News Editor
·3-min read

Queensland has recorded another locally acquired case of Covid-19 after the husband of a woman who travelled to the state from Victoria also tested positive. 

There are 17 people now identified as close contacts of the woman who travelled to Queensland from Melbourne, through NSW, before testing positive.

Those contacts include her husband, who earlier tested negative in hospital, and family members she stayed with at Caloundra, on the Sunshine Coast. 

"Her husband tested negative but he's now tested positive. And we know that often happens towards the end of someone's illness," the state's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young, told reporters Thursday.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young, Covid announcement
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young. Source: Getty

"I've now had confirmation from serology testing results that both of these individuals are towards the end of their illness which is very good news for Queensland – that means the risk of transmission to anyone else is less," she said. 

Yet Victoria's testing chief Jeroen Weimar said that was "very concerning" to Victoria and NSW, where the couple would have been infectious.

"The focus for the team is to get as much information as possible to understand their movements, potential source of acquisition," he said.

"We want to link it to one of the existing clusters that we know about. Right now, we have next to no information to go from."

The woman and her husband left Melbourne's lockdown on June 1 and travelled through rural NSW and into Queensland before testing positive on the Sunshine Coast on June 5, authorities revealed on Wednesday afternoon

Health officials in NSW and Queensland were scrambling yesterday to map the movements of the 44-year-old woman and her partner. 

Of the 17 close contacts identified, three have already returned a negative result.

"Three have tested negative already. We've got those results. And two of those are the parents who they were staying with," Dr Young said, describing the outcome as "very reassuring".

Another 400 people are self-isolating and getting tested after potentially coming into contact with the couple at 13 exposure sites across Goondiwindi, Toowoomba and the southern Sunshine Coast.

Because health authorities believe the risk of spread is quite low, they have not ordered vulnerable facilities such as aged care homes, hospitals or disability health facilities to lock down. 

Nonetheless, Dr Young urged everyone who develops any symptoms and lives in the Sunshine Coast, or Goondiwindi, or Toowoomba area to come forward for testing.

"It's very, very important. And anyone who's been to any of those many venue sites, it's vital that they come forward," she said.

Reason couple first got tested

It's understood the couple were permanently moving to Queensland, where the husband was due to start a new job.

Dr Young said the couple did not apply for a formal travel exemption despite moving home being an accepted reason to enter Queensland.

"No, they didn't come through the exemption process," she said.

"So it's now up to police to investigate whether they came through any other process."

Authorities picked up the woman's infection after her husband's employer asked them to get tested for Covid-19 so he could get a health clearance to start work.

with AAP

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