Fresh virus scare hits Qld
Some residents in Townsville, Cairns and Brisbane have been asked to urgently get tested after a Queensland woman who travelled to Melbourne tested positive for coronavirus in Victoria.
The woman lived in Townsville but travelled through the two other cities in the Sunshine State before flying south.
The woman, who is in her 30s, left Queensland on October 7.
"The team at Queensland Health has asked a number of people who may have been in contact with her to quarantine themselves for 14 days and get tested in that period," Health Minister Steven Miles told reporters on Wednesday morning.
He said authorities will be conducting contact tracing in all three Queensland cities.
"It's most likely she contracted it while in Melbourne, she was in Melbourne several days before being tested, however the way we've been so successful is by being ultra cautious," he said.
The coronavirus scare comes after testing in sewage in Townsville revealed the deadly virus was present in the water system, which Mr Miles said would explain the positive test result of the woman now in Melbourne.
Despite the scare, Queensland again recorded no new cases on Wednesday and only has two active cases in the state but the news risks souring the state's successful run containing the pandemic.
Wednesday, 14 October – coronavirus cases in Queensland:— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) October 14, 2020
• 0 new confirmed cases
• 2 active cases
• 1,161 total confirmed cases
• 1,169,423 tests conducted
Sadly, six Queenslanders with COVID-19 have died. 1,154 patients have recovered.#covid19 pic.twitter.com/BZyflIgtpX
While NSW recorded more cases on Tuesday than Victoria, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk delivered her daily COVID-19 update on Tuesday with a smile.
"Good morning Queensland … Today I can report we've had zero new cases overnight," Ms Palaszczuk said from Maryborough.
"I love these days, they're terrific days."
Since the beginning of the year, Queensland has recorded 1161 cases of COVID-19 and six people have died.
Back in late July, Queensland had recorded six successive days of no active cases, before a few returning travellers brought an end to the streak.
That all changed on July 29, when three Logan women returned to Queensland from Melbourne, two of whom had contracted the virus.
After the women spent days in the community while infectious, the cluster spread over the following two months to encompass more than 60 people, including large numbers of cases linked to the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre and Queensland Corrective Services Academy.
Last week, the state marked 28 days since the last known case within that cluster was in the community while infectious, prompting the state's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young to declare the cluster "over".
It's a far cry from Victoria, which has seen a slight increase in the 14-day rolling average after 12 new cases were announced on Tuesday. The metropolitan Melbourne average now sits at 10.0.
As part of Premier Daniel Andrews' original roadplan out of lockdown, the state needed that figure to drop to 5 by Sunday, October 25, to see an easing of restrictions.
In NSW, 13 new cases were confirmed on Tuesday, including seven locally-acquired cases.
Queensland has not had a case outside of quarantine since September 11.
Ms Palaszczuk last week said she knew her strict border measures, which meant the state was still closed to Victoria and most of NSW, were not popular with everybody, but had served their purpose.
"Queenslanders have done a mighty job. We can only focus on our economic recovery with a strong health response," she said last week.
As per the current road map, Queensland will reopen to NSW on November 1 only if the state has recorded 28 days of no so-called "mystery cases".
When cases began to spike last week, despite initial reports the NSW government had a short time window to identify links between clusters, both Ms Palaszczuk and Dr Young reaffirmed they would still consider the situation at the end of the month.
Testing numbers have remained steady in Queensland, with 4235 samples recorded in the latest testing period.
Almost 1.2 million tests have been carried out in Queensland since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally published as Fresh virus scare hits Qld