Raft of new exposure sites listed in Gold Coast, Brisbane as delayed case reports come through

Raft of new exposure sites listed in Gold Coast, Brisbane as delayed case reports come through

Photo: Harbour Town, via Facebook

Update (27 July): It has been confirmed by Queensland Health that genome sequencing has linked the latest case who travelled from China to another hotel quarantine guest from South Africa, who had flown to Australia from Doha.

Queenslanders have been urged to keep a close eye on a growing list of exposure sites in the wake of revelations about two new cases in particular - a Sydneysider who is now known as the index case for a flight attendant whose positive test was revealed on Friday, and a man who returned to Australia from China.

Westfield Chermside, two Nundah locations, Harbour Town, Pacific Fair, the Q Super Centre in Mermaid Waters, a childcare centre in Parkwood, and a Chinese restaurant in Southport are among the new venues listed.

Yesterday the state's health authorities confirmed the flight crew member had likely been infected with COVID-19 when she picked up a man from Ballina, NSW - a close contact of a known COVID-19 case - on 14 July, giving some relief to regional communities and passengers connected to her previous flights to and from Longreach, Gladstone and Harvey Bay.

Today the Queensland Government has revealed one new case of community transmission who not only passed three negative COVID-19 tests before being released from hotel quarantine in Brisbane, but came forward for testing almost two weeks ago.

"I'm not sure of the acquisition of this case. It could have been in China, it could have been in hotel quarantine, or indeed it could have been in the community down in the Gold Coast," says Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young.

The man returned to his home on the Gold Coast on 12 July, but as he and his family felt unwell they went to their GP the next day and got tested.

It must be noted that visiting your local doctor is discouraged in these circumstances and that the health advice is to present to a COVID-19 testing clinic instead if you have symptoms.

"We got that first test result back yesterday, but it was a very, very high CT (cycle threshold) value so not a lot of virus, so we're just trying to work through what exactly that meant," says Dr Young.

"We got a second test done and that's come back at a moderate level of a CT value which means there's a reasonable amount of virus."

A CT value relates to how many cycles it takes for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to detect the virus, implying an inverse relationship between how high the CT value is and the viral load.

This value has no bearing on the severity of disease, but it can give health professionals or contact tracers a signal as to the stage of the virus a patient might be in and how infectious they are.

"So that [moderate CT value] means he's definitely at the acute stage of the new infection. So we'll just work through what that means," Dr Young says.

"We've already spoken to him, of course, and worked out where he's been out in the community and we've put all of those exposures sides up on our website. So there's quite a number of those for people to be aware of.

"Anyone who's been in the Gold Coast or in Brisbane, since 13th of July, please look at her website and check and see if you've been to any of those exposure sites."

Updated at 12:16pm AEST on 26 July 2021.

 

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