Another school is potentially at risk of COVID-19 exposure, after students from a central Queensland school visited Rookwood Weir last week — the site where a Brisbane woman flew in for work, while infectious.
Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga, said students from Mt Morgan State school and workers from the weir would be prioritised for testing.
“CQ-HHS will be bringing people forward in the queue who are being prioritised if they work at Rookwood Weir or if they might be the students from Mt Morgan State School,” she said.
Urgent contact-tracing efforts are now underway across the region, and it is still unclear whether the woman travelled anywhere outside of the Rookwood Weir camp, where she worked as an external contractor.
The woman, who tested positive for the Delta strain on Saturday, flew into Rockhampton while infectious last Wednesday and remained there for two days.
She was one of nine new cases of COVID-19 announced yesterday and arrived in the city from Brisbane on Qantas flight QF2363 at 8:30am on July 28.
She returned on QF2365 at 6:40pm on July 30.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said everyone on both flights had been contacted and told to get tested.
He said he hoped mask measures at the airport had reduced exposure.
“The testing team went out to Rookwood [Weir] yesterday … those that were on site, they’ve all been tested,” he said.
“Those that have left the site may still be organising to get tested but they’ve been contacted.
“They’ve identified a few people that were out at the airport … to get them tested as well.”
Work at the site has stopped as Queensland Health conducts contact tracing and urgent testing of the workforce.
All on-site employees have been told to quarantine in their rooms for 14 days.
Queensland Heath said other employees who had left the site had also been contacted and told to isolate for 14 days.
Deputy Mayor Neil Fisher said Rockhampton Council had enacted an “action plan” to deep clean the airport.
The woman is understood to have ordered a meal while she was there and also visited the bathroom.
“Anyone there that came in contact [with her] has been asked to go into quarantine,” Cr Neil Fisher said.
Locals complain of testing challenges
Rockhampton’s CQ-University fever clinic has extended its opening hours and anyone with symptoms is urged to get tested.
The site has been inundated with people wanting tests, with massive queues already forming.
Ms Lauga said she had been contacted by people who had challenges getting tested yesterday.
“The CQ-HHS has told me to encourage you all to contact the call centre so you can register for a test,” she said.
“We’ve done this before and we’re actually more prepared now than we have been in the past.”
She said COVID-19 call centres would have large waiting times due to the “sheer demand” and urged people to be patient.
“It’s really important to note that if you’ve been in one of those areas since the 29th of June … then you must follow the mask requirements for the impacted areas unless 14 days have passed since you’ve been in the area.”
South-east Queensland’s outbreak currently includes 18 cases of the Delta variant, detected on Thursday when a 17-year-old schoolgirl from Brisbane’s western suburbs was tested after feeling sick.
Mr O’Rourke said the news was a reminder to maintain COVID-safe practices in regional Queensland.
“Hand hygiene social distancing … I think we’ve become a little bit complacent in recent times,” he said.
“I can’t stress it enough the importance of getting the vaccine, it’s not just for you the disabled the elderly.”