QLD records new COVID case who was in Sunshine Coast community while infectious

QLD records new COVID case who was in Sunshine Coast community while infectious

Popular Mooloolabah restaurant Riceboi has been listed as an exposure site from 6:45-8pm on 15 July. Photo: Facebook

A woman in her 20s who returned home to Queensland from her studies in Victoria has tested positive to COVID-19, putting various venues and transport routes on alert across the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Cairns and Mareeba.

From Queensland Health's indications, the woman who has received two Pfizer vaccine doses appears to have done everything by the book including mask wearing on public transport and in an Uber, as well as check-ins and following testing recommendations from Victorian authorities via mobile phone.

The individual flew from Melbourne to Maroochydoore on 13 July, staying with friends on the Sunshine Coast until 16 July before catching Virgin Australia flight VA791 on that day to Cairns, where a relative picked her up and took her home to Mareeba where she has been in isolation.

"She received an SMS from Victorian health authorities on the 15th of July because she had been at the Young & Jacksons pub on the 10th of July and that was declared a tier one site by Victoria," QLD Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young told a press conference this morning.

"So she then went and immediately got herself tested, and she tested negative. 

"She then went out and about in Maroochydoore, so on the Thursday she was staying with friends in Maroochydoore and then that afternoon from 3:55pm to 4:15pm she went to the Sunshine Coast Plaza, and specifically visited the Universal Store there. We're just getting additional details now of what other movements she had."

Of particular concern however is the Riceboi restaurant in Mooloolabah where she spent time from 6:45pm to 8pm on that night, the 15 July.

Dr Young has called on anyone who attended that restaurant during those times to immediately come forward to get tested and isolate until contacted by QLD Health.

"The following day on Friday the 16th of July she travelled via Uber at 12:15pm to Maroochydoore Station, then caught the 615 bus to Landsborough Station, then went by train from Landsborough to Eagle Junction, then caught the AirTrain to Brisbane Airport," Dr Young says.

After flying to Far North Queensland, the woman remained at home in Mareeba in isolation until she went to the Atherton fever clinic at 10:30am on Sunday, 18 July.

"She did have some symptoms, so we've deemed her infectious period back to the 15th of July. That's when she had a negative test as well in Maroochydore."

Dr Young notes the woman is fully vaccinated after receiving her second dose on 10 May.

"That is really good, which does reduce the risk but it doesn't remove the risk," she says.

"She was wearing a mask, and of course we require anyone in the Sunshine Coast - who has been part of 11 LGAs (local government areas) in Southeast Queensland to be wearing masks at the moment, and she wore a mask on the plane, and we will of course be contact tracing everyone on that flight - VA791."

Deputy Premier Steven Miles emphasises how the reduced density requirements at hospitality venues and the wearing of masks will have reduced further community transmission, but it's absolutely critical that anyone who has travelled to Victoria, New South Wales or South Australia monitor state health websites for venues of concern.

"That's where the risk of community transmission here in Queensland is. It is from Queenslanders and people coming to Queensland who have been at those locations," he says.

He notes the South Australian Government has implemented restrictions, and Queensland will be reciprocating that as is done with all hotspot arrangements.

Updated at 10:32am AEST on 20 July 2021.

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