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How ‘sheer luck’ helped authorities stop a Covid-infected woman who fled Melbourne into Queensland

Health authorities were able to detect a Covid-infected woman thanks to ‘sheer luck’ after she travelled across three states with her husband.

The 44-year-old woman fled locked-down Melbourne on June 1 and travelled with her partner through regional NSW before entering Queensland on June 5. 

The woman is believed to have been visiting family in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast and was tested on Tuesday before returning a positive result on Wednesday. 

She had been experiencing symptoms from June 3 but only sought a test on June 8. 

The pair were only detected when the couple came forward for testing because the man needed negative results for work purposes – with health authorities admitting it was down to luck that the case was caught. 

A shock Covid-19 case has been detected on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast (Noosa pictured) after a couple travelled from locked down Victoria, one infected with coronavirus

Six close contacts of the woman have been identified so far, including her husband who has to date tested negative.

But Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young fears he could become infected, given how much time the pair spent in the car together. Both are now at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.    

Dr Young has said it is possible the woman was infectious from the day she left Melbourne. 

‘She could well have been infectious while travelling through New South Wales and I have been working with my colleague to determine that,’ she told reporters in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. 

Queensland currently classifies Victoria as a Covid-19 hotspot, and anyone entering from the state must complete hotel quarantine.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath and Dr Young held a press conference confirming the case on Wednesday afternoon and added a number of exposure sites in Queensland. 

The positive woman was at Bunnings in Caloundra, QLD between 12.10pm - 12.45pm on June 7

The positive woman was at Bunnings in Caloundra, QLD between 12.10pm – 12.45pm on June 7

The woman visited Goondiwindi McDonalds on June 5 between 7.35am - 7.50am

The woman visited Goondiwindi McDonalds on June 5 between 7.35am – 7.50am

‘We don’t know why they left or what the situation was,’ Doctor Young told reporters. 

‘Hopefully we have got this early and there are no other positive cases and community transmission.  

‘It’s only in the last hour that we’ve had this absolutely confirmed by double checking the results.’ 

They believe she may be at the end of her infection upon conducting her test. 

There are reports the woman lied on her declaration form when entering the state. 

Infected woman’s timeline: 

June 1: Left Melbourne and travelled through New South Wales

June 5: Arrived at Goondiwindi border and crossed into Queensland

7.35 – 7.50am: Goondiwindi McDonalds

11 – 11.15am: Toowoomba Caltex

June 6:

2.45 – 3pm: Sunny’s in Moffat Beach

3.30 – 4.30pm: Coffee Cat in Kings Beach 

June 7:

10.45 – 11.30am: Stockland Caloundra Shopping Centre – Coffee Club and Kmart stores

12.10 – 12.45pm: Bunnings in Caloundra

1 – 2pm: Kawana Shoppingworld

June 8:

3.50pm – 4pm: Baringa IGA in Caloundra 

The Amaroo Tavern in NSW has been added to the list of possible exposure sites

The Amaroo Tavern in NSW has been added to the list of possible exposure sites

The couple had visited the Kawana Shoppingworld in Queensland between 1pm-2pm on June 7

The couple had visited the Kawana Shoppingworld in Queensland between 1pm-2pm on June 7

Police have suggested the couple crossed the NSW/Queensland border at Goondiwindi instead of the Gold Coast because there were less officers patrolling.

‘If you try to get into Queensland illegally through the Gold Coast, there is a high likelihood of being identified and intercepted,’ Gold Coast police Superintendent Rhys Wildman said.   

Authorities in NSW have issued alerts for several regional centres after the couple stopped in Forbes, Dubbo, Moree and Gillenbah. 

NSW venues on alert include a Woolworths in Moree and a petrol station in Dubbo. 

Anyone who has visited the venues have been urged to get tested immediately and isolate until given further instructions. 

Queensland’s list of exposure sites include a McDonald’s restaurant in Goondiwindi, where they crossed the border from NSW, and sites on the Sunshine Coast, including at Moffat Beach, Kings Beach, Buddina, Baringa and Caloundra.

The pair were only detected when the couple came forward for testing because the man needed negative results for work purposes - with health authorities admitting it was down to luck that the case was caught (pictured cyclist in Melbourne this week)

The pair were only detected when the couple came forward for testing because the man needed negative results for work purposes – with health authorities admitting it was down to luck that the case was caught (pictured cyclist in Melbourne this week)

The couple also travelled through Toowoomba, west of Brisbane. The list of exposure sites is on the Queensland Health website and will inevitably grow. 

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said Queensland Police will be investigating why the couple entered into the sunshine state.  

‘We’ve got a couple that have come from Victoria, when Victoria’s in lockdown, into Queensland,’ he said.

‘We’ll examine all those issues around passes – whether they were appropriate and what has happened – it is too early to say.

‘It’s really important for us to remind the whole community that we cannot possibly check every single person moving around the country.’ 

NSW VENUES ON ALERT 

Gillenbah, Caltex Narrandera on Tuesday, June 1 from 10.30am – 11.00am 

Forbes, Vandenberg Hotel on Tuesday, June 1 from 6.00pm – 10.00pm  

Forbes, Brew Coffee Bar on Wednesday, June 2 from 7.00am – 10.00am 

Dubbo, CSC – Church Street Cafe on Wednesday, June 2 from 11.30am – 2.30pm  

Dubbo, Reading Cinemas Dubbo on Wednesday, June 2 from 6.00pm – 10.00pm  

Dubbo, Homestead Motel on Wednesday, June 2 at 12.00pm – Thursday,  June 3 at 10.00am  

Moree, Gwydir Carpark/Motel & Thermal Pools on Thursday, June 3 at 1.45pm – all day Friday, June 4 to Saturday, June 5 at 7.30am  

Moree, Cafe Omega on Thursday, June 3 from 1.30pm – 4.30pm, Friday, June 4 from 7.00am – 9.30am and Friday, June 4 from 11.50am – 2.00pm  

Moree, Amaroo Tavern on Friday, June 4 from 4.30pm – 11.00pm     

Dubbo, Shell Petrol Station on Wednesday June 2 from 10.30am – 11.30am

Moree, Woolworths Moree on Thursday June 3 from 3.30pm – 4.30pm 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk