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State's first infections in nine days as virus breaches walls of Fortress Goondiwindi


Goondiwindi, Queensland’s most vaccinated community, is on alert after three new cases of COVID-19 were recorded, two discovered to have been infectious while in the southern border town community.

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the three new cases emerged after 5098 tests in the 24 hours to 6.30am on Thursday.

She says one is a known household contact of a case, another has been infectious in the community for five days and a third is a woman who has had one dose of a vaccine, but has been infectious for four days.

Palaszcuzk says the first two of the cases are unvaccinated.

“So my message is very clear, and I’ve said this, if you are unvaccinated and the virus comes into your community, the virus will hunt you out,” she told reporters.

“Now it’s really important in Goondiwindi if anyone has any symptoms to please get tested.”

Goondiwindi Mayor Lawrence Springborg says one case,  the first recorded in Queensland in nine days, may have caught the virus on a trip to the northern NSW town of Moree, where there is an outbreak.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Peter Aitken said all three cases are in hospital and will be transferred to a COVID-19 hospital, most likely on the Gold Coast.

He said there were a number of household and other close contacts who were in isolation or being tracked down on Thursday.

Dr Aitken said a NSW woman and a Victorian truck driver have also tested positive interstate after being infectious in Goondiwindi.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said he was confident restrictions would not need to change because vaccination rates were so high in the town.

Commonwealth figures show that, as of Monday, 90.9 per cent of eligible Goondiwindi residents have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 81.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.

“We will await advice from Queensland Health about the risk to our community, and any potential changes to restrictions in our region,” Springborg said in a statement on Wednesday night.

“With four confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Moree Plains Shire Council area, we are also paying close attention to any potential changes to border restrictions.

“This situation is likely to be rapidly evolving in the coming days, and council will continue to work closely with authorities as the situation transpires to do what it can to keep our community safe.”

Queensland Health has listed a number of virus exposure sites, including Coles and Kmart, on Sunday and Monday.

“The great irony is that we may never fully realise the success of our region’s vaccination rate, as we will only ever know the number of positive cases and not how many were prevented,” Springborg said.

Meanwhle, Queensland Health has also listed a truckstop in the town as a potential COVID-19 exposure site after an infected truck driver tested positive interstate.

Queensland recorded no new virus cases on Wednesday with the last local COVID-19 infections recorded on October 26.

There are 308 new local cases of COVID-19 in NSW and four deaths, ending a week of daily infection numbers below 300. The new cases were recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday from 94,661 tests.

The figures mark a jump of 118 infections – a day after Premier Dominic Perrottet warned to expect daily cases and hospitalisations to increase.

Some 93.7 per cent of people aged 16 and older have had one vaccine dose and 88.7 per cent are fully jabbed.

Victoria has recorded 1247 new locally-acquired COVID-19 infections and another nine deaths.

The health department confirmed on Thursday the state is managing 17,674 active cases. There are 660 Victorians in hospital, of whom 114 are in intensive care including 78 on ventilators

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