Local News

Second COVID case in Qld but no restrictions

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The husband of the woman who tested positive to coronavirus after the pair breached Melbourne’s lockdown to visit the Sunshine Coast has also contracted the virus.

But Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young says the couple – who are now in quarantine – are considered to be low risk because they are “towards the end of their illness”.

The 44-year-old woman and her husband travelled from Victoria into Queensland via New South Wales, to visit parents in Caloundra where they’ve been staying since June 5.

Her husband originally tested negative but has since had a positive result. Both parents have returned negative results.

Dr Young says serology testing shows the pair are at the end of their infectious period, which means there is less risk of transmission to other people in the community.

“They’ve got neutralising antibodies… [so] they probably got infected at least 14 days earlier.

“The risk of transmission to anyone else is less, but it’s still there.”

She says while this is reassuring, people who have been to the exposure sites or have symptoms still need to get tested.

There are 17 close contacts of the couple who have all been tested for coronvirus. So far, three have tested negative.

No lockdown… yet

Dr Young has decided not to send vulnerable facilities, such as prisons, aged care facilities or disability accommodation, into lockdown at this stage.

“I don’t believe the risk is there that we need to do that at this stage.”

However, anyone who has been to any of the exposure sites on the Sunshine Coast, and in Toowoomba and Goondiwindi, is banned from visiting high-risk facilities.

“People have themselves come forward and said they’ve been at this venue – this is great.”

“I am confidence, with the continued co operation of the Sunshine Coast, we can get on top of it.”

In total, eight new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Queensland overnight; the husband and wife make up two while the other six are travellers in hotel quarantine.

Testing and vaccination drive

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath is imploring anyone who has been to anyone of the exposure sites listed on the Queensland Health website to get tested.

The Caloundra drive-through clinic will be open for 12 hours every day, and will also be open on the weekend. There are also public clinics in Nambour and Gympie.

However, Ms D’Ath is urging people to use private pathologists as well in a bid to reduce long queues at the public clinics.

“There are many private pathologists on the Sunshine Coast.”

People are also being asked to get their vaccinations with AstraZeneca available for people aged 50 and over, and Pfizer for people aged 40 and over.

Vaccine bookings are full at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital for the weekend; however, Ms D’Ath says people can still get the jab at many GPs.

The Federal Government has doubled the amount of vaccines available for the Sunshine Coast.

Investigation underway

Officials say the couple from Victoria did not have an exemption pass to travel from Victoria into Queensland, which would have required them to quarantine.

Ms D’Ath says a police investigation is underway, and she could not comment further until those investigations were complete.