Extra restrictions loom as Coast Uber driver returns ‘mystery’ positive test

Gold Coast residents have been warned the next 24-48 hours are crucial and that some COVID-19 restrictions could return after an Uber driver tested positive to the virus.

Nov 11, 2021, updated Nov 11, 2021
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the next 24-48 hours will be crucial after a second unlinked case has emerged on the Gold Coast. (AAP Image/Russell Freeman)

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the next 24-48 hours will be crucial after a second unlinked case has emerged on the Gold Coast. (AAP Image/Russell Freeman)

The mystery case, announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, has raised alarm bells as contact tracers work to determine how and where the fully vaccinated man, in his 50s, got the virus.

And urgent tracing is underway to track down passengers in his vehicle.

It is the second new, locally-acquired COVID-19 case in Queensland in the past 24 hours but authorities say the second case, a teenage girl, is less concerning as it is linked to the Moree cluster.

Palaszczuk warned the Gold Coast could face new Covid restrictions if more cases come to light in the next 24 hours.

She urged Gold Coast residents to get tested if they have any symptoms and to get vaccinated.

“I am concerned and we need to make sure that we manage this over the next 24-48 hours,” Palaszczuk said.

“We will look at each case and how they all factor in and I would not like to see multiple unlinked community cases over the next few days.

“We need to see what the transmission is like on the Gold Coast in the next 24-48 hours.”

The Uber driver who tested positive was fully vaccinated, posing less likelihood of passing on the virus. Contact tracers are now poring through his records in a bid to track down every passenger in his car.

From Carrara, the man is now in Gold Coast University Hospital. He is believed to have been infectious while in the community for three days.

It is the second unlinked case on the Gold Coast, after a 32-year-old Pacific Pines man tested positive earlier in the week and is believed to have been infectious in the community for up to six days.

Palaszczuk admitted she was concerned about the new mystery case, which has the potential to see the region plunged back into restrictions.

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The second locally-acquired case in the past 24 hours is a teenage woman who has been in the community in Beaudesert and Warwick whilst infectious. However authorities are less concerned about her case as its origins are linked to the Moree cluster in northern New South Wales.

The young woman spent several days in Warwick whilst infectious and half a day in Beaudesert and new locations for these areas have now been announced.

A third new case, overseas acquired, was also detected in hotel quarantine.

The Gold Coast scare comes just a day after Queenslanders were freed from the need to wear masks after the State hit the 80 per cent first dose vaccination mark.

The new cases come as State Government Ministers and Members blitz remote and rural regions of the State, imploring people in areas with lagging vaccination rates to get vaccinated.

And the so-called Super Schools Vaccination Blitz will be back with pop-up clinics at school on November 20-21.

Deputy Police Commissioner, Steve Gollschewski, said authorities are currently working on arrangements for border passes and home quarantine for when the State’s vaccination rates hit 80 per cent.

But he warned police would crack down on those failing to comply.

“If people choose to blatantly disregard the Chief Helath Officer’s directions they can expect us to take action,” Gollschewski said.

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