A Queensland high school has been closed for cleaning and contact tracing after a student tested positive to the virus.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath confirmed the infection in the 17-year-old student of Indooroopilly State High School student on Friday morning.
“She became unwell yesterday and went and got tested and overnight her result has come back positive,” she said.
“There is very little more information at this stage. We need to still identify exposure sites.”
The girl is one of a family of five who live in Taringa, in Brisbane’s south-west, and is thought to have been out and about in the community while infectious for three days. The rest of her family is still being tested.
Genomic testing is underway , as well as further testing to confirm the student’s positive test.
Chief health officer Jeannette Young said the mystery case was “concerning”.
“I’m struggling to understand how she’s acquired it,” she said.
Parents learned of the school’s closure in a late night email from staff. Acting Executive Principal Derek Weeks said specialist cleaners had been called in.
Mr Weeks said a person “connected with the school”, which is one of Brisbane’s biggest, had been confirmed with COVID-19.
The school will be shut for 48 hours.
The latest coronavirus case comes as Queensland Health battles several outbreaks of the virus this week, including in a guest at a backpackers’ hostel and a Gold Coast man who caught it in hotel quarantine.
“We do know that we have had 13 incursions of the virus into Queensland over the last six weeks,” Dr Young said.
“We know that in any particular outbreak, someone can get infected, not have symptoms and then spread the virus to someone else, which is why it’s critically important that we all remain very, very cautious until the vast majority of people have been able to be vaccinated.”
Dr Young said it was “almost inevitable” that COVID-19 cases would rise in the state in coming months.
She has urged people to wear face masks, saying an outbreak of the Delta strain in the state a near certainty.
“Queensland, COVID-19 is coming,” Dr Young wrote in a News Corp editorial.
“It’s unfortunate but almost inevitable that we will see a rise in COVID-19 cases here in coming months.
“That’s why I am pleading with Queenslanders to wear masks when they are in public.
“It’s more than a public health direction – it’s also one of our most effective weapons against this virus, especially the insidious Delta variant.”
Queensland authorities remain on alert after a man with COVID-19 flew between Brisbane and Perth last week.
Dr Young said the man initially arrived in Brisbane on a flight from the Philippines via Papua New Guinea on July 3 and entered hotel quarantine.
After 14 days and three negative tests, he flew to Perth on July 17 or 18, where he was denied entry and put into hotel quarantine.
The man was then put on Qantas flight 932, which arrived in Brisbane at 12.55pm on July 20.
He became unwell while staying a backpackers hostel in Brisbane and tested positive for the Alpha variant on Monday.
Dr Young said contact tracers were tracking down other passengers on the flight and hostel guests.
On Thursday, she said they had tested 62 guests at the Brisbane City Backpackers HQ and the neighbouring Joe’s Place Backpackers.
There were 59 negative results, with results pending for the others.
However, a man was taken away from one of the hostels in an ambulance on Thursday afternoon.
Authorities have also transferred 10 COVID-19 patients from a ship docked at Weipa, in the state’s far north, to Brisbane hospitals for treatment.
Eleven crew members remain on board MV Sanyu; nine are positive cases and two tested negative.