The husband of the COVID-positive woman who spent four days road-tripping to Queensland after fleeing Melbourne’s lockdown has also been confirmed with the virus.
Queensland authorities confirmed the man’s infection on Thursday morning.
They had already flagged the likely infection because the couple spent days sharing a car as they drove from Melbourne through regional NSW to the Sunshine Coast, leaving on June 1 and arriving in Caloundra on June 5.
The 44-year-old woman tested positive for the virus on Wednesday. Both were moved to the Sunshine Coast Hospital for isolation after her diagnosis.
Chief health officer Jeannette Young said serology results had confirmed the couple were at the end of their infections.
“[That] is very good news for Queensland, in that it means the risk of transmission to anyone else is less,” she said.
“[But] it’s still there, and I still need everyone to come forward who develops any symptoms at all who lives in the Sunshine Coast, or Goondiwindi or Toowoomba – it’s very, very important.”
There are numerous exposure sites from the couple’s road journey through regional Australia, including at Gillenbah, Dubbo, Forbes and Moree in NSW, and Goondiwindi, Toowomba and on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Authorities have identified 17 close contacts of the couple, three of whom have already tested negative. They include the parents of one of them, with whom they had been staying.
More than 400 people across Queensland have also come forward for COVID testing since Wednesday afternoon.
Dr Young said she believed the risk of the virus’ spread was lower than it might have been if the couple were earlier in their infection. As a result, she will not require aged-care, disability accommodation and other vulnerable settings in Queensland to go into lockdown.
“I don’t believe the risk is such that we need to do that for this particular outbreak at this stage,” she said.
Queensland has also opened another vaccine centre at Doomben racecourse, and sent more vaccine supplies to the Sunshine Coast.
“Please, go and get vaccinated – go online and check where there are appointments and get vaccinated,” Dr Young said.
Everyone over 40 is eligible for a COVID vaccine in Queensland. Dr Young said eligibility would be broadened as soon as the state had spare capacity in its vaccine supplies.
The man’s case is the first community transmission of the coronavirus in Queensland in more than nine weeks.
The couple left from the outskirts of Melbourne on June 1, five days after Victoria’s latest snap lockdown began and a day before stay-at-home orders were lifted for regional areas of the state.
It’s understood they were permanently moving to Queensland, where the husband was due to start a new job.
The woman’s infection was uncovered after the man’s employer asked them to get tested for a health clearance prior to him starting work.
Earlier, Dr Young said the woman likely become infectious on the day they left Melbourne.