Queensland has recorded two new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 after two truck drivers who travelled into the state from NSW tested positive.
Both drivers are considered ‘low risk’.
‘We aren’t overly concerned about these two,’ Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said at Queensland’s Tuesday Covid update.
Exposure sites in St George and the Balonne region, where the drivers stopped for for fuel, food and accommodation, are expected to be listed later today.
Other than the transit stops, both drivers are believed to have mainly stayed at home with their families.
One of the drivers lives in the Somerset region and the other on the Sunshine Coast.
Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said the cases were reported to Queensland by NSW Health authorities late yesterday.
‘These were two truck drivers were tested as part of the surveillance program that we have in place in Australia now.’
The truck drivers entered Queensland from NSW in the St George area in the state’s far west
Strict border controls between Queensland and NSW are in place as the Delta outbreak in NSW continues to spread
Truck drivers need to be tested every seven days under the program.
‘These two truck drivers were superb, doing their routine testing and extra testing and maintained social distancing at all times, stayed at home when they weren’t driving the trucks.
‘The risk is very low.’
She said the pair had subsequently been retested in Queensland and both tests came back negative.
Dr Young said the households of both drivers were now in 14 days quarantine.
She said plans to further ease some Covid restrictions in Queensland from this Friday would not as yet be threatened by the two new cases.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said 5,000 vehicles were intercepted at the NSW-Queenslander border yesterday, including heavy haulage vehicles, with 199 refused entry and 17 who were essential workers that had not yet been vaccinated.
Ms Palaszczuk urged Prime Minster Scott Morrison to provide new Doherty Institute modelling on vaccinate rates to state premiers before national cabinet on Friday
Queensland Police stop vehicles on the Queensland-NSW border. Queensland has tightened border controls in the past week as the Delta outbreak in NSW crept further north
Ms Palaszczuk was asked whether she was worried about reports some truckies were planning a blockade of the NSW-Queenslander border to protest border controls.
‘They can come in,’ she said of the truck drivers. ‘Freight has to be distributed around the country and there’s a national freight protocol in place, so I don’t see what the issue would be.
‘Have a look at the number of cases in NSW and Queenslanders don’t want to see those numbers coming into Queensland, that’s why there’s a border closure.’
Ms Palaszczuk also pressured Prime Minster Scott Morrison to provide the new Doherty Institute modelling to state premiers before national cabinet on Friday.
‘I haven’t seen the modelling,’ she said. “Apparently the PM has seen the modelling – share it with us, don’t just drop it on Friday morning. Share it with us so we can all have a look at it.’
She pushed back at the prime minister’s comments that people needed to ‘get out of the cave’ and open up the country once vaccination rates reach 80 per cent.
The premier said unlike some other states, Queenslanders were currently living in relative freedom.
‘Have a look at in Queensland at the moment: you can go to work and go to school, you can go watch sport, you can play community sport, you can go to a restaurant, you can go out, we haven’t given up,’ she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said she wanted to see state-specific modelling on what load would be placed on her state’s public health system if the country incrementally opened up at 80 per cent.
‘Everyone’s worried about the impact it has on hospitals, I mean we’re seeing large numbers of people are presenting with serious illness, dying in hospitals, you know, hospitals are going to be stretched,’ she said.
‘We’ve seen the examples around the world.’