News State QLD News Sick family, COVID-positive truckie spark Qld alarm

Sick family, COVID-positive truckie spark Qld alarm

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The SA government is working with the freight industry on mitigating COVID risks. Photo: Getty
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Queensland has a new local COVID case in a truck driver and has sent an entire family into hotel quarantine amid fears they might have the virus.

They family is thought to have recently travelled to Melbourne.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the truckie, who lives at Windaroo, in Brisbane’s south, was picked among 10,433 virus tests in the 24 hours to 6.30am on Thursday.

The man, who is now in NSW, was infectious in the community around Logan and the Gold Coast between August 28 and September 1.

“We are contacting him to find where he has been in Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk told parliament on Friday.

“This is an addition to the truck driver reported yesterday.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said authorities had also put an entire Gold Coast family of five into hotel quarantine after the children told their classmates they had been to Melbourne.

She said early indications were the family returned to the state undetected via an inland route without going into hotel quarantine.

Ms D’Ath said some of the family was unwell, with respiratory symptoms. But they are refusing to co-operate with health authorities and contact-tracers.

“We don’t know if it’s COVID, we have to treat it as if it is,” she told parliament.

“The school is working with us on that and we really do hope the family do co-operate with us because it’s in the best interest of everyone, including their own health, because we really want to make sure if they’ve gotten COVID that we are able to treat them.”

The Gold Coast school was closed on Thursday.

  • See all of Queensland’s COVID exposure sites here

Queensland was already on alert after another truckie tested positive in NSW after being infectious while in the sunshine state last week.

Authorities sent an alert on Thursday morning saying that driver had also visited a third service station at Bundamba, near Ipswich, also on August 26.

He later tested positive when he returned to NSW. Queensland authorities are trying to track down anyone who might have had contact with him.

There are also concerns in South Australia after five interstate truck drivers tested positive for the virus while travelling through the state in the past week.

Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said the figure included two NSW truck drivers identified last weekend who travelled through the state’s north and west last week.

Health authorities also learned of another COVID-positive NSW truck driver on Tuesday before a further two cases emerged on Wednesday.

“We are under extreme time pressure here to protect the South Australian community,” Professor Spurrier said, urging people to check for fresh exposure sites and get tested if they have symptoms.

About 240 people have already been placed in self-isolation as close contacts. Professor Spurrier expected that number to grow.

It is believed all five truck drivers caught the virus interstate before entering SA, with the cases picked up as part of mandatory three-day surveillance testing for those coming from NSW and Victoria.

“It’s a real wake-up call here for us in South Australia,” Professor Spurrier said.

“The risk from NSW and also Victoria is not going away. It’s a very real risk for everybody.”

  • All of SA’s virus exposure sites are here

There were also two positive wastewater detections late on Tuesday, one in the Salisbury area and the other in Adelaide’s south.

“Until we have lots and lots of people getting tested, I can’t feel reassured that we don’t have community transmission,” Professor Spurrier said.

She conceded it was a matter of time before SA, which shares borders with COVID-battered NSW and Victoria, had another outbreak.

-with AAP