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Annastacia Palaszczuk has threatened to reinstate restrictions on the Gold Coast after an Uber driver was revealed as a new unlinked local infection.
The driver is one of two new local cases recorded in Queensland on Thursday, prompting health authorities to urgently begin tracing the driver’s passengers.
The Uber driver, a man in his 50s, was vaccinated but the Queensland Premier expressed concern for community transmission given the driver’s access to a wide number of residents while infectious for three days.
“If we see more unlinked community transmission on the Gold Coast in the next 24 to 48 hours, we may have to put in some further restrictions,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Thursday morning.
“People should consider wearing a mask on public transport on the Gold Coast but also if they are in crowded situations.
“We want to protect people on the Gold Coast but we do have two more unlinked cases there.”
Acting chief health officer Peter Aitken said authorities were “really concerned” by the city’s second unlinked infection this week.
“We do need to watch this really closely,” he said.
The Premier said the high vaccination rate on the Gold Coast meant her team had not enforced a lockdown yet but authorities would monitor how the outbreak progresses.
“Not (a lockdown) at the moment, but let’s see how it goes. Let’s see how the next 24-48 hours go,” she said.
“The good news here is the Uber driver was fully vaccinated.
“We are not at 10 per cent or 20 per cent, the Gold Coast is nearly at 80 per cent but we just need to see what the transmission is like in the next 24-48 hours.”
But despite the high vaccination rate in the southeast Queensland city, Ms Palaszczuk said there was still a relatively high number of those who were vulnerable because they were yet to receive their jab.
“I do have concerns and that’s why I’m saying very clearly today we really need to see Gold Coast residents get vaccinated and get tested,” she said.
“And I will be looking at the testing rates on the Gold Coast.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was concerned about the new cases. Photo / John Gass
The other new case reported on Thursday was a Beaudesert teenage girl who is linked to the Moree cluster revealed on Wednesday.
This cluster emerged from an unvaccinated person from Warwick who attended an event in the northern NSW town of Moree, and who has been in the community for 10 days.
The Warwick RSL club and Condamine Sports Club were listed as exposure sites.
The other mystery case reported on Wednesday on the Gold Coast was a 32-year-old man from Pacific Pines who had received one dose of the vaccine and was in the community for up to six days.
The threat of new restrictions comes less than 24 hours after Queensland eased the mandatory mask-wearing rule when the state passed the 80 per cent threshold for those who had received their first Covid vaccine.
Meanwhile, Victoria has recorded 1313 new locally acquired Covid-19 infections on Thursday and four more deaths.
There are 457 Victorians in hospital — 79 of those in intensive care and 48 on a ventilator.
A total of 76,105 tests were processed on Wednesday.
About 85 per cent of Victorians aged older than 12 are fully vaccinated and 92.7 per cent have received their first jab.
A 90 per cent double-dose vaccination rate was predicted to be achieved about November 24.
- by James Hall, news.com.au