Students at a Brisbane high school have been placed in quarantine after a 13-year-old girl tested positive to COVID-19, prompting Queensland authorities to launch an investigation this morning.
- Students have been sent home from St Thomas More College in Sunnybank as a “precaution”
- There is also concern about a NSW truck driver who was infectious in the Queensland community last Sunday and Monday
- The Queensland government announced it has reinstated the border bubble with New South Wales
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the teenager is a student from St Thomas More College in Sunnybank on Brisbane’s southside and that all students at the school had been sent home as a “precaution”.
Ms Palaszczuk said the case had emerged this morning and was “under investigation”.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said authorities were still working through the movements of the student who tested positive, but that “she was at school in the last few days”.
Late on Friday, Queensland Health confirmed the student had been active in the community while infectious.
All students and families of the college have been put into 14 days mandatory home quarantine.
Queensland Health on Friday afternoon identified the college as a close contact exposure site on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
The community was encouraged to monitor the exposure sites list for further updates.
On Friday afternoon, Queensland Health announced visitors to prisons, hospitals aged care and disability care facilities will be restricted in the Logan City Council area and the Brisbane City Council area from 1:00am tomorrow.
Mask wearing has also been extended for a further two weeks until September 24.
NSW truck driver tests positive
Dr Young said she was also concerned about a NSW truck driver who was infectious in the Queensland community last Sunday and Monday.
She said his movements are still being traced, but he is known to have visited the Westfield Garden City shopping centre at Upper Mount Gravatt, a service station in Archerfield and other locations on Sunday and Monday.
She said the driver was the eighth COVID-positive truck driver to have been in Queensland during their infectious period.
Dr Young said thousands of drivers a day cross border and holding them up “would be difficult”, but authorities are continuing to examine the situation.
One new overseas acquired case has also been recorded — a person from a ship who tested positive in hotel quarantine.
Border bubble to return
It comes as the Queensland government announced it has reinstated the border bubble with New South Wales.
Dr Young said from 1:00am Monday students and essential workers, from the 12 NSW local government areas where restrictions will ease tomorrow, will be able to travel into Queensland.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the delay was necessary for authorities to make adjustments to border pass requirements.
“We know how hard these strictest-ever border arrangements have been on our border communities,” he said.
The Premier said it was “great news” that the border could open up.
“It’s basically going back to that border bubble that we’ve had previously,” she said.
From Monday, border bubble residents will be able to move freely for school, work that cannot be done from home, essential shopping, healthcare and to care for a vulnerable person.
Ms Palaszczuk said authorities would be “monitoring it very closely” and changing the bubble depending on any NSW updates.
Queensland set the hard border with NSW last month, limiting border crossings to a narrow list of essential workers.
Several protests were sparked by the hard border, including a Tweed Heads gathering of more than 1,000 people on August 22.
Mr Miles called the behaviour “un-Queensland-like”, warning the border was the state’s greatest risk of another outbreak of the Delta variant.
Dr Young said NSW and Queensland residents will be able to move between the border bubble areas if they satisfy one of the reasons to do so.
She said it is “important” that NSW residents had not recently had visitors from outside the areas that were locked down, and that they themselves had not gone into an area where restrictions remain.
“The best thing for everyone going forward, because we are going to see more cases, is to come forward and get tested … and to get vaccinated,” Dr Young said.