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5 August, 2021

Cairns can dodge the lockdown bullet

After the confirmation of a positive COVID case in Cairns, the spectre of a community lockdown loomed large.

By Peter McCullagh

PHOTO: Peter McCullagh

Yesterday Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Jeanette Young stated the key to dodging a lockdown was testing within the community.

Additional clinics were opened along with extended hours at some existing clinics after the demand to testing lifted sharply after the announcement that a reef pilot tested positive to an unknown COVID variant.

It was confirmed yesterday the reef pilot had a mild dose of the Delta COVID variant. The pilot was fully vaccinated in March this year in accordance with work requirements. The source of his infection remains unclear, after genome sequencing results confirm no link with either the previous Mareeba positive case or the existing Brisbane cluster of Delta cases.

The risk to the community remains low from this case, however it is not zero risk. Queensland Health officials are monitoring the case as well as contract tracing.

Dr Young urged members of the community should have any symptoms to come forward and undertake testing.

“We need to get people in Cairns with any symptoms whatsoever to come forward for testing.

“The chances of going into lockdown to manage this outbreak is very low, but to prevent this everyone needs to come forward and get tested,” she said.

Dr Young also said the wearing of masks was not mandatory, it was encouraged as a sensible precaution.

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