News Coronavirus Man with mutant strain may have been infectious for days

Man with mutant strain may have been infectious for days

brisbane hotel quarantine virus
Queensland authorities are on high alert after the man was out and about while infectious with the virus. Photo: Getty
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A man believed to have the highly contagious British strain of COVID-19 could have been infectious for two days in the Brisbane community, authorities say.

The infected man is the partner of a hotel quarantine cleaner whose own infection sparked the three-day lockdown of Brisbane that ended on Monday night.

His positive test was confirmed just hours after.

“The two days before he went into quarantine, potentially could be a risk,” Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young said on Tuesday.

“I am asking people who went to any of the venues that he went to, to please, immediately come forward and get tested. The risk is low, but the risk is there.”

Queensland authorities have asked anyone who attended two venues of concern to be tested for the virus. They are:

  • Bunnings, Acacia Ridge, January 5, 2-2.40pm;
  • Sunnybank Cellars, Hellawell Road, Sunnybank Hills, January 6, 2.05-2.15pm.

The man was Queensland’s only community COVID case on Tuesday. The state had two more infections in hotel quarantine.

Across the border, NSW confirmed five more locally acquired infections on Tuesday. It also had 11 more hotel quarantine cases.

Two of the local cases, which were first reported on Monday, are in the Mount Druitt area in Sydney’s west. They were discovered after one patient went to a local hospital on Saturday night and their origins remain a mystery.

There were also two more cases in Sydney’s northern beaches, where a weeks-long partial lockdown ended last weekend. They are household contacts of each other, although the source of their infection is still under investigation.

There was also another case linked to the Berala cluster, bringing it to 27.

Tuesday’s figures came from 14,738 tests in the 24-hours to 8pm on Monday – and prompted a plea for more people to turn out for testing across the state.

“Please do not assume this outbreak is over in NSW. The rumblings are there. We’re still mopping up,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“Whilst we’re confident that there hasn’t been another superspreading event, that’s only for today. It can happen again if we don’t stay vigilant.

“We need the testing rates up. I’m appealing to the community, whether you have the mildest of symptoms, please make sure you come forward, get tested and follow the rules.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard particularly urged people from migrant communities to be tested for the virus.

“This virus hasn’t given up causing us grief as yet and so it’s so important that the communities right across NSW and particularly in greater Sydney go and get tested,” he said.

“I call on community leaders in western Sydney to make sure that the various multicultural communities … get the message to their communities to stick to the [home gathering] limits at the moment, listen to the public health advice.”

  • For an up-to-date list of NSW venues of concern, click here

Elsewhere, Victoria also had a day without any COVID infections in the community or in hotel quarantine.