Qld firm on border over NSW COVID-19 cases

Queensland is sticking to its guns over its COVID-19 border war with NSW as the Sunshine State notches up 28 days without community transmission.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the result was fantastic news for Queensland in its battle against the coronavirus.

“It’s now 28 days since the last new case of that southwest Brisbane cluster,” he told reporters on Friday.

“A real cause for celebration.”

Mr Miles said Queensland health officials were closely monitoring NSW’s efforts to contain a community outbreak in southwestern Sydney.

“In recent days NSW is reporting similar numbers to Victoria. In fact, yesterday NSW had more cases,” he said.

He said it was disappointing NSW didn’t want to “share the aspiration” to control community transmission, as other states and territories did.

“They’ve effectively given up on that goal of 28 days of no unlinked transmission,” he said.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young was less pessimistic, saying NSW had now found links for seven of the eight cases that have broken out in the community.

“They have a further 10 cases today. Five of them in hotel quarantine which of course aren’t any risk at all and then five in the community,” she said.

“But for all five of them, they know how they’ve acquired those cases.

“So NSW has extremely good contact tracing capability and they’re using that at the moment.”

Dr Young said she would continue watching the situation before deciding to reset the 28-day border clock and delay the planned border reopening on November 1.

“We just need to wait a bit longer before we decide whether or not there’s been any need to change that planned opening to NSW,” she said.

“We use that 28 days of no unlinked community cases to assist us in determining whether it’s safe.

“I am feeling more confident but we’ve got to wait until the end of the month … They are getting continuing cases.”

Dr Young said Queensland health officials continue to monitor sewage in the Whitsunday Region.

“We have had quite a few positive tests in Cannonvale and Airlie Beach,” she said.

She urged residents in the areas with symptoms to get tested “because we are seeing persistent virus in the sewage there”. 

Queensland recorded no new cases in the 24 hours to Friday morning.

There are just four active cases in the state and 5555 tests were completed.

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