One local virus case in Qld, 19 on ship

Queensland has recorded a new local COVID-19 case who has been infectious in the community in Brisbane for six days, and 19 new infections have been reported on a ship offshore.

The man completed hotel quarantine in Brisbane on July 17 and then stayed at a backpacker hotel in the CBD before becoming unwell and getting tested on Monday.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says the man has likely been infectious in the community since last Thursday.

“Now we will go and contact trace the people in that backpackers’ hotel and other people that this gentleman’s been in contact with,” she told reporters on Wednesday.

“Now this is our 13th incursion of the virus into the community in Queensland over the last six weeks, so it is becoming increasingly concerning that we are having these repeated incursions of the virus into Queensland.”

Dr Young said that the hotel quarantine system was clearly insufficient in containing the Delta variant of COVID-19.

She had also asked for all politicians in the state to be prioritised for vaccination due to the risk of them bringing the virus from Brisbane into the regions.

“I think this is escalating now, we have had 13 incursions of the virus into the community, into the Queensland community over the last six weeks,” she said. 

“That is more than we’ve seen before for a long time, so I’m very worried. 

“And most of those have been the Delta variant, so I just want to manage every single risk that I can think of as much as I can.”

Authorities have also recorded another 19 COVID-19 cases on a ship off the state’s coast after 17,816 tests overnight.

Dr Young said the ship is due to arrive in Weipa on Wednesday and the sick crew members will be transferred to hospitals on shore for treatment.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said Queensland will relax quarantine requirements for residents and people with travel exemptions in Victoria and South Australia after both those states lifted virus lockdowns overnight.

She said those travellers will be allowed to quarantine at home, rather than in hotels, from 1am on Friday.

“If anyone is found to be in breach of home quarantine, not only can they be fined, but they also can be required to go into hotel quarantine,” Ms D’Ath said.

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