Queenslanders have received some positive news on Tuesday morning, with just three new cases of coronavirus confirmed – none of them in the Cairns region.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said all of the new infections have been linked to the Indooroopilly cluster in Brisbane.
“They haven’t been in the community infectious and are all in quarantine,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“It is wonderful, wonderful news.
“Well done to everyone and everybody in home quarantine, thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you are doing and keeping your family safe and the community safe.”
Chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said one case is a student at Brisbane boys Grammar School, the second is a student at Ironside and the third is an adult household contact of two known cases from Brisbane boys Grammar School.
The three cases came from 20,484 COVID tests, Ms Palaszczuk was also optimistic about an uptick in testing in the Cairns region, with 4200 tests in the 24 hour period.
Dr Young congratulated the Cairns area for the “fantastic” lift in testing numbers after Cairns and Yarrabah residents entered a three-day lockdown on Sunday night.
“That is a brilliant response from Cairns,” Dr Young said.
The rules are set to be eased at 4pm on Wednesday if there’s no sign of further infections and were introduced after a taxi driver was linked to an earlier Delta variant case involving a local marine pilot.
Dr Young said the fully vaccinated marine pilot developed symptoms on July 31, meaning he had been infectious from July 29, but being vaccinated could have affected his symptoms.
She said he probably acquired the virus aboard the ship that he piloted before coming ashore on July 23. The taxi driver then took him to the airport on July 26.
The unvaccinated taxi driver wasn’t identified as a close contact until well after he drove the marine pilot to the Cairns airport.
He was infectious in the community for a total of 10 days, seven of them spent driving passengers around Cairns.
The two cases have been linked through genomic testing, but contact tracing will now be backdated to July 23 with more exposure sites added.
“People in Cairns, there will be venues put up there and please just take note because you might have been in one of those venues going back to that 23 July. That is really important,” she said.
Since the driver tested positive on the weekend, contact tracers have been working overtime to ensure all his contacts are isolating.
Further south, Gold Coast authorities are on alert for any cases beyond the one that is known to authorities.
It’s also possible there could be a link between Queensland and an infected man who has sent communities in northern NSW into lockdown.
The Byron Shire, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina Shire local government areas went into a snap lockdown at 6pm on Monday after a positive case from Sydney travelled to Byron Bay.
The premier warned Queenslanders not to attempt travel to those areas, as their neighbour state attempts to control a burgeoning outbreak further south.
“We don’t want to see Queenslanders going down there. It is for seven days so let’s all do the right thing,” she said.