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Unlinked COVID-19 case recorded in Brisbane

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Queensland has recorded an unlinked locally-acquired case of COVID-19 in a high school student in western Brisbane.

The 17-year-old girl, who is a student at Indooroopilly State High School, tested positive on Thursday after she had a headache.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath says the case is yet to be linked to any existing outbreaks in the state.

“This is an unknown, unlinked case at this stage. Until we get more information, masks are more important than ever,” she said on Friday.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says the teenager’s family are being tested, but they haven’t travelled anywhere recently.

“I’m struggling to understand how she’s acquired it, so we’ll have to wait until we get whole genome sequencing results back later today,” Dr Young told reporters.

The girl has been admitted to hospital as a precaution and the school has been closed for deep cleaning.

Contact tracers are now working out which students at the school will need to self-isolate or go into quarantine.

Indooroopilly State High School’s acting executive principal Derek Weeks reportedly told parents the school would be closed for 48 hours for the deep clean.

“I will continue to liaise with the department and we will continue to take the advice from Queensland Health,” he reportedly wrote in a letter to parents.

“It is important we continue to follow COVID-safe measures including good hygiene, physical distancing and staying at home if unwell. We also must adhere to any Chief Health Officer directions such as wearing face masks.

“If you, or a member of your family, are feeling unwell or displaying symptoms of COVID-19, please consult your GP.”

The new case comes after Dr Young penned an opinion piece on Friday warning a rise in COVID-19 cases in coming months in Queensland was “almost inevitable”.

Dr Jeannette Young noted the state has weathered 13 incursions of the virus from interstate and hotel quarantine in the last six weeks.

It’s “a wonder”, she said before the recent case was announced, there are only 42 active COVID-19 cases in Queensland amid climbing cases numbers in NSW and recent outbreaks in Victoria and South Australia.

The chief health officer urged people to wear face masks with an outbreak of the Delta strain in the state a near certainty.

“Queensland, COVID-19 is coming,” Dr Young wrote in the piece published by News Corp.

“It’s unfortunate but almost inevitable that we will see a rise in COVID-19 cases here in coming months.

“That’s why I am pleading with Queenslanders to wear masks when they are in public.

“It’s more than a public health direction – it’s also one of our most effective weapons against this virus, especially the insidious Delta variant.”

Meanwhile, authorities are also alert after a man with the Alpha strain of COVID-19 flew between Brisbane and Perth last week.

Dr Young said the man initially arrived in Brisbane on a flight from the Philippines via Papua New Guinea on July 3 and entered hotel quarantine.

After 14 days and three negative tests, he flew to Perth on July 17 or 18, where he was denied entry and put into hotel quarantine.

The man was then put on Qantas flight 932, which arrived in Brisbane at 12.55pm on July 20.

He became unwell while staying at a backpackers hostel in Brisbane and tested positive on Monday.

Contact tracers are still tracking down other passengers on the flight and hostel guests.

Authorities have tested 62 guests at the Brisbane City Backpackers HQ and the neighbouring Joe’s Place Backpackers.

Some 59 tests were negative while results were pending on three others.

Authorities took the infected man to hospital on Thursday afternoon.

Ten COVID-19 patients from a ship docked at Weipa, in the state’s far north, have also been put into Brisbane hospitals for treatment.

Eleven crew members remain on board MV Sanyu. Nine are positive cases and two tested negative.

AAP

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