Wednesday, September 29
Queensland has recorded one new community case of COVID-19, a close contact of the Eatons Hill man who works at an aviation training facility that tested positive on Monday.
One Queensland truck driver also tested positive in New South Wales.
It comes after four new mystery cases were reported yesterday, in an unvaccinated truck driver who was in the community for one week, the wife of the Eatons Hill man and a woman who had recently completed two weeks quarantine.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said restrictions that were tightened yesterday for the Brisbane and Moreton Bay local government areas will now be extended to the Gold Coast.
“That will mean that there will be restrictions on people accessing hospitals, aged care disability facilities and correctional services, facilities, we will be monitoring this very closely over the next 24 to 48 hours,” Ms D’Ath said.
The Health Minister urged people to keep checking the Queensland Health website as more exposure sites would be updated through the day.
Another truck driver who had been in Queensland has also tested positive in New South Wales.
Ms D’Ath said the truck driver lives in Queensland and was in the Gold Coast area from September 25 to 27 before heading to New South Wales.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the truck driver had visited Mermaid Waters, Merrimac, Surfers Paradise, Mermaid Beach, Miami, Palm Beach and Currumbin.
She said the other man, who is a contact of the aviation worker, was in his 50s and lives in Biggera Waters on the Gold Coast.
“He’s been out in the Gold Coast area while infectious, so we’ll be putting up sites exposure venues on our website,” Dr Young said.
“He had had two doses of vaccine and had been fully protected.”
She said genome sequencing showed the latest cases were “new clusters” and not linked to any case in Queensland, but Dr Young said she was confident that all the latest cases could be traced to their sources.
She said she was confident that a lockdown in south-east Queensland was not necessary at this stage, but she would reassess if the state started seeing a large spread of the disease and unlinked cases.
She said international pilots use the aviation training facility where the Eatons Hill man works.
Ms D’Ath said around 300 people work at the aviation training facility.
“Queensland Health will determine whether they are close contacts or not, but we should expect a lot more people going to home quarantine over the next few days,” she said.
Dr Young urged all Queenslanders aged 12 and over to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“We’re seeing time and time again, vaccination is not enough to stop people getting infected and passing on the virus, they will be fine,” she said.
“We’ve seen time and time again that if you’re fully vaccinated [it is] very unlikely you end up in ICU and extremely unlikely you’ll die from the infection, but you can still pass it on.”
Dr Young said the Gold Coast truck driver who tested positive in New South Wales regularly travels between his home and Sydney, stopping at Byron Bay and Ballina along the way.
“I’m asking everyone in the Gold Coast to immediately come forward [if they have] any symptoms at all [and] to make sure you get vaccinated,” Dr Young said.
*Victoria has recorded 950 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and seven further deaths.
The new infections were detected from 61,322 test results processed on Tuesday, and brings the number of active cases in the state to 9,890.
There were 34,028 vaccines administered at state-run sites yesterday, with the total number including GPs and pharmacies to be confirmed later today.
It was expected the state would yesterday hit a target of having 80 per cent of the 16+ population protected with at least one dose of a vaccine. Nearly half of that cohort has had both doses.
As a result, there has been a mild easing of restrictions across the state, with the travel radius in locked-down Melbourne and Mitchell Shire increasing from 10 kilometres to 15km and the reopening of tennis and golf.
The City of Latrobe in Gippsland has been suddenly moved to the same settings, after a snap seven-day lockdown was called late yesterday in response to a growing number of cases across at least three towns.
The rest of regional Victoria will be allowed to have slightly more people in hospitality venues, and masks can be removed for beauty and hairdressing services if required.
The family of deceased travel blogger Gabby Petito has urged Gabby’s former fiance, Brian Laundrie, to turn himself in at a news conference in New York, report newsagencies AP and Reuters.
A lawyer for Ms Petito’s family, Richard Stafford, criticised Mr Laundrie’s parents for what he said was a lack of cooperation in the search that turned up Ms Petito’s remains.
“The Laundries did not help us find Gabby,” Mr Stafford said.
“They’re sure as not going to help us find Brian.
“For Brian, we’re asking you to turn yourself in to the FBI or the nearest law enforcement agency.”
Mr Laundrie, who is wanted by police in connection with his 22-year-old girlfriend’s death, was charged on September 23 with fraudulently using the woman’s bank debit card and personal identification number.
People around the world have followed the case closely in the media since Ms Petito was reported missing by her mother, Nicole Schmidt, on September 11.
Ms Petito’s body was discovered on September 19 in a remote area of western Wyoming, and she was farewelled at a memorial service last week.
At the press conference, the family displayed tattoos they all received to honour Gabby based on her designs and mantra of “Let it be”.
“I wanted to have her with me all the time. So I feel this helps that,” Ms Schmidt said.
Gabby’s father, Joseph Petito, thanked the news and social media for spotlighting his daughter’s disappearance, but he said all missing persons deserved the same attention.
“I want to ask everyone to help all the people that are missing and need help. It’s on all of you, everyone that’s in this room to do that,” he said
“If you don’t do that for other people who are missing, that’s a shame, because it’s not just Gabby who deserves it.”
A foundation set up in their daughter’s name aims to fill gaps in the work of locating missing people.
“We need positive stuff to come from the tragedy that happened,” Mr Petito said.
“We can’t let her name be taken in vain.”
A coroner has ruled Ms Petito’s death a homicide but have not revealed the cause of death.
Feral pigs are posing problems across large areas of Queensland.
Experts say feral pigs are becoming increasingly bold and encroaching on outer suburbia as a population boom drives them into more densely populated parts of Queensland, reports the ABC.
Pigs have been wreaking havoc for landholders in suburbs less than 10 kilometres from Rockhampton’s CBD, while a sighting at a Gold Coast school in August has also raised concerns, write Lucy Robinson and Belinda Sanders in a special report.
Recent sightings by bushwalkers have occurred at Cunningham’s Gap and Mount Cordeaux in southern Queensland, with high numbers also reported around Dalby on the Western Downs and Drayton on the outskirts of Toowoomba.
Darren Marshall, from the natural resources management organisation Southern Queensland Landscapes, said favourable conditions had led to a bumper breeding season.
“I think we’re coming into a really, really bad time for feral pigs,” he said.
“Everywhere that we’ve seen, all the sows have got lots and lots of piglets on the ground.
“There’s so much food around, they breed so fast and re-infest so quickly.”
The problem is also happening around the world with reports last week that Rome’s booming wild boar population had trickled out of city parks and onto the streets.
Mr Marshall said the pests were becoming increasingly bold as competition for food intensified.
“I think people would be amazed how close they come in, looking for that food source, to residential areas,” he said.
“They’re more than happy to take risks to get to areas where the food sources are.
“They are at the back of new residential estates.
“And if you’re walking through the bush and there’s a 60 to 100 kilo animal beside you, rustling through the scrub … it definitely does scare you.”
Australia’s top-tier men’s and women’s football leagues, the A-League and W-League, have been collectively rebranded as the A-Leagues ahead of the upcoming seasons.
The former A-League has been renamed A-League Men while the W-League is now known as A-League Women, with the Y-League rebadged as A-League Youth.
The Australian Professional Leagues (APL), who officially took full control of the leagues in December 2020, said they had consulted players, coaches and fans in deciding to align the leagues under a “unified banner”.
“The APL is all about football. It’s not men’s football or women’s football, it’s just football,” APL managing director Danny Townsend said.
“Bringing the female game up onto a level playing field with the men was something we felt really strongly about.
“We thought it’s about time football took a leadership role in this space.
“We’ve got an amazing couple of years ahead of us with the Women’s World Cup coming to Australia, so this is just another step in our commitment to the women’s game.”
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