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Queensland COVID-19 update – second case of South African variant confirmed

1 January 2021

A second case of the South African variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed in a recently returned overseas traveller to Queensland.

No new cases were reported in Queensland today.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the man in his 50s had travelled from South Africa, the UK and Qatar, and was currently in hospital.

“This detection further highlights the importance of our hotel quarantine policy, especially for overseas travellers,” she said.

“Cases are rising at a rapid rate internationally and new variants like this one may be difficult to contain in the community. Our best approach is ensuring potential cases are detected where they pose no risk to other Queenslanders.”

The diagnosis comes after a woman tested positive to the South African variant earlier this week.

Traces of COVID-19 have also been detected in sewage at two sites in Queensland.

Routine testing returned positive results for viral fragments in wastewater at treatment plants at Bundaberg in Wide Bay and Elanora on the Gold Coast.

The samples were both collected on 30 December.

Dr Young said continued positive sewage results were particularly concerning given the New South Wales cluster and new cases in Victoria.

“These positive test results are concerning as they may indicate either a recovered case or undetected active cases living in or visiting the area,” she said.

“It is very important that anyone in the Bundaberg and Elanora catchments who has COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, comes forward for testing. If there are active cases in the area, it is important that we detect them early to prevent further transmission.

“It’s not just residents we want to reach, but holiday-makers as well.

“We’ve announced 12 wastewater results in the past eight days, and Queenslanders are responding fantastically by getting tested – please keep it up.”

To access a full list of COVID-19 testing locations, with interactive map and post code search, visit:

Recent wastewater tests revealed positive results at several wastewater sites across Queensland in Bundamba, Merrimac, Wynnum, Bundaberg, Bargara, Victoria Point, Oxley Creek, Goodna, Fairfield, Cairns North, Redcliffe and Nambour.

Queensland’s total COVID-19 cases is 1,253, of which 13 are active. The state recorded 5,105 tests in the last 24 hours.

Dr Young said she was closely monitoring the New South Wales cluster and the new Victorian cases.

“While we are not changing any restrictions to New South Wales and Victoria at this stage, as we’ve seen, things can change really quickly with this virus, so I continue to urge Queenslanders travelling to these states to reassess their plans – if it is not necessary, then consider staying here,” she said.

“The situation in Victoria and NSW is still very concerning. Queensland is in a good position right now because we acted quickly to declare greater Sydney a hotspot.

“The health and safety of Queenslanders has and always will be our first priority when making these decisions.

“We’ve worked hard to keep COVID-19 out of the Queensland community and we do not want that to come undone because of complacency – so please keep up your social distancing, hand washing, and providing contact details at venues.”


Last updated: 1 January 2021