Queensland Health has confirmed this afternoon it is investigating a COVID-19 positive case in Cairns as to whether it is an active or historical case.
The confirmation comes after traces of COVID-19 were detected in the region’s Marlin Coast sewage catchment last week.
However, the state’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, has said authorities are still unsure how the state’s current outbreak occurred.
The total tally in this outbreak stands at 47.
“It is really important so we can make sure that we don’t have any other transmission events, any outbreaks happening.”
150,000 extra vaccines to be sent to Queensland
“We will take them, and more,” Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.
“I phoned the pharmacy guild and asked them if they had 150,000 vaccines available of AstraZeneca and could they get this in the arms of Queenslanders across south-east Queensland in a matter of days? They said yes.
“So, I asked the Commonwealth, do whatever approvals you need to today, get the 150,000 vaccines here tomorrow, and we will ensure that more Queenslanders are getting vaccinated by the end of this week.”
Dr Young said now was the time people aged under 60 should talk to their GP about the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“GPs know their patients and know what advice to give them.”
Dr Young has previously said she would prefer younger people to not take the AstraZeneca vaccine, but that people should follow the health advice issued by ATAGI.
“Our community can expect to start seeing things like an RBT-type interception on the roads where we will check to see if people have the right reasons to be out and whether they’re going about their business,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said people with a valid medical reason not to wear a mask would need to prove it to officers, but that police would take a “compassionate” approach to that.
Surgeries delayed as health workers quarantined
Dr Young has said “well over” 400 health workers, including a large proportion in critical care, are currently in quarantine causing delays to surgery.
But she pledged no Queenslander would be denied any necessary care.
“Last night I had to make a decision, because all of our cardiac surgeons for the Children’s Hospital were in quarantine, so we worked through how we could allow one of them to operate on an urgent case,” she said.
“We will do that every single time.”
But Dr Young said some surgery and some outpatient work would be delayed.
Rotating extra health workers from regional Queensland was not an option because they would be restricted from returning to their regional hospitals after visiting Brisbane.
Concerns over schools
The Queensland Children’s Hospital is now on standby in case an infected child becomes seriously unwell.
One of the children infected with the virus spent six days in the community, potentially spreading it even further.
AMA Queensland Board Director and GP Dr Maria Boulton told Today she was “very concerned”.
“I’ve got children and I have got children that go to one of those affected schools,” she said.
“The thing that concerns me the most is that this is a very, very infectious variant.”
“I think all students should be vaccinated. I think it’s a good idea. I think the only issue that’s stopping us really is – as always – vaccine supply.”
Dr Boulton has urged people under 60 to “have a chat with your GP” about getting the AstraZeneca vaccine if Pfizer was not available.
The Delta strain is known to be far more transmissible among young people than earlier variants, and rising cases detected in school students is greatly troubling health officials.
Yesterday the region’s lockdown was extended until 4pm on Sunday.
Eleven LGAs are affected, including City of Brisbane, Moreton Bay Regional Council, City of Gold Coast, City of Ipswich, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Logan City, Noosa Shire Council, Redland City, Scenic Rim Regional Council, Somerset Regional Council and Sunshine Coast Regional Council.