Queensland has confirmed two new local cases of the coronavirus.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Tuesday one was an unvaccinated 17-year-old from the Gold Coast.
He is a close contact of a woman with COVID who recently travelled to Queensland from NSW. Police are investigating how she entered the state.
The teenager’s infection was picked up when he attended a Gold Coast emergency department with a headache.
The other is a woman in her 30s from Melbourne, who was in home quarantine when her infection was confirmed. She is considered low-risk.
There is also another COVID-positive truck driver – a man from Gympie who travelled to Bundaberg. His infection was detected in NSW and will be counted as part of that state’s figures.
“Today’s cases show Queensland is not immune to the pandemic,” Ms Palaszczuk told parliament on Tuesday.
“We have contained dozens of outbreaks but, as NSW, Victoria, the ACT and New Zealand have discovered … it only takes one case to cause a massive outbreak. Our only protection is to get vaccinated.”
Queensland Health has updated COVID exposure sites after confirmation of the infections. They include Fresh Fields FoodWorks Thabeban in Bundaberg and the male toilets at Caboolture South Travel Centre.
- See all of Queensland’s COVID exposure sites here
The new cases came as the state government warned that regional centres and Indigenous communities will face virus restrictions if they fail to reach an 80 per cent vaccination rate by the time Queensland’s borders reopen.
The state government will scrap quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers who test negative when 80 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have had both doses, or by December 17 at the latest.
Commonwealth figures on Monday showed 75.2 per cent of eligible Queenslanders had received one dose of a vaccine and 60.7 per cent were fully vaccinated.
Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner and vaccine coordinator Shane Chelepy believes the state will hit the 80 per cent target by December 17, but some areas will struggle.
Commonwealth vaccination figures show that only 31.7 per cent of eligible residents in the Isaac Region in central Queensland have been fully vaccinated and 48.2 per cent have had one dose.
In the Indigenous community of Cherbourg, in the south-east, 25.7 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated and 33.7 per cent have had one jab.
Mr Chelepy warned individual local government areas would face future COVID-19 restrictions, including lockdowns, if they did not get to 80 per cent before the borders opened.
“The Premier and the chief health officer have been clear on this: The areas that don’t reach 80 per cent, if we have an outbreak in those areas, restrictions will need to be applied,” he said.
Mr Chelepy warned the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 would hit the state.
“Once the state opens, Delta will come in from NSW, it will come in from Victoria, and when it does come in it will go into every single regional town in the state, so we will see outbreaks in those areas,” he said.
Queensland has managed to lift vaccination rates in some regional and remote towns and the government is working with councillors, mayors and Indigenous elders to get more people vaccinated.
But many people living in regional areas were complacent about getting the jab because they hadn’t experienced COVID-19 outbreaks or restrictions, Mr Chelepy said.
“We’re a victim of our own success in some ways. We’ve really not had a lot of COVID outbreaks in our regional areas.
“Most of the outbreaks have been in south-east Queensland, a little bit in Cairns and Townsville, so I think we are suffering a lot of complacency in some of our areas that they haven’t really been touched by COVID during the event.”