Queensland has six new cases of COVID-19, including two local infections that are under investigation.
The local cases are truck drivers and are not considered a “major risk” at this stage, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Tuesday.
The drivers – who live in the Somerset region and on the Sunshine Coast – were picked up by surveillance testing in NSW.
Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young said both drivers had subsequently tested negative.
“Truck drivers need to be tested every seven days and these two truck drivers were superb, doing their routine testing and extra testing and maintained social distancing at all times, stayed at home when they weren’t driving the trucks,” she said.
“The risk is very low.”
The drivers and their families have started 14 days’ quarantine while Queensland and NSW authorities work to determine if there is a risk from their positive tests.
Exposure sites are expected to be listed in Queensland later. They can be found here.
The other cases in Queensland on Tuesday were one in hotel quarantine and three on an offshore vessel.
Also on Tuesday, Ms Palaszczuk pushed back at Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s comments that people needed to “get out of the cave” and open up the country once vaccination rates reach 80 per cent.
She said that unlike some other states, Queenslanders were living in relative freedom.
“Have a look at in Queensland at the moment: You can go to work and go to school, you can go watch sport, you can play community sport, you can go to a restaurant, you can go out, we haven’t given up,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said she wanted to see state-specific modelling on what load would be placed on her state’s public health system if the country incrementally opened up at 80 per cent.
She wants to see that modelling before national cabinet talks on Friday.
“Everyone’s worried about the impact it has on hospitals, I mean we’re seeing large numbers of people are presenting with serious illness, dying in hospitals, you know, hospitals are going to be stretched,” she said.
“We’ve seen the examples around the world.”
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said while vaccinations were progressing steadily, registration numbers have been dropping.
She said it was important more people booked so they could get the jab.
“If you’re not registered, you can’t book in, so we need people to get registered,” she said.
Victorian outbreak expands further
Victoria has confirmed 50 more local COVID-19 cases, as authorities race to bring the state’s worsening Delta outbreak under control.
The state health department on Tuesday confirmed 40 cases were linked to known outbreaks. The source of the remaining 10 infections was under investigation.
Thirty-nine cases were infectious in the community and not isolating.
It brings the total number of active cases in the state to 522.
Premier Daniel Andrews also said the state would open up 830,000 first-dose vaccine appointments from Wednesday morning. They include Pfizer eligibility for Victorians aged 16-39.
“Not everybody will be able to book an appointment tomorrow because we don’t have supply for everybody,” he said.
“I do have supply for 450,000 Pfizer shots, and 830,000 in total, both Pfizer and AstraZeneca. The long and the short of this is – get online, ring the phone number tomorrow, book an appointment and turn up when the time comes.”
Mr Andrews said if the appointments were taken up, he was confident Victoria would beat its target of one million vaccines administered by September 19.
The ACT confirmed 30 new local cases on Tuesday, taking Canberra’s outbreak to 167 infections.
The territory is halfway through a three-week lockdown sparked by an infection imported from NSW.
Of Tuesday’s cases, 25 are linked and 11 had been in the community while infectious.
Meanwhile, across the Tasman, New Zealand had 41 new community cases on Tuesday, another growth after 35 on Monday and 21 on both Sunday and Saturday.
Officials hope it is near the peak of its outbreak, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said jump “wasn’t unexpected”.
“Where we are right now, only seven days in, we are not at the point where we are picking up infections that have been only in lockdown,” she told Radio NZ.