The 23-year-old woman who brought the Delta strain of coronavirus from Melbourne to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast broke lockdown protocols when she gave in to peer pressure to go out with friends, it has been revealed.
The Mareeba woman, who flew to Melbourne to visit friends before travelling back to the Sunshine Coast, was deemed a close contact after visiting a high-risk exposure site in the Victorian capital on July 13.
The double-vaccinated medical student received the message from the state’s health department on July 15 and was tested but did not wait for her result.
Instead she agreed to go out with friends on the Sunshine Coast after initially returning a negative result.
In line with national protocol the 23-year-old should have isolated for 14 days regardless of her result after being at a high-risk exposure site.
The 23-year-old woman infected with the highly-infectious Deltra strain broke close contact protocol because she was peer pressured by friends, instead going out to dinner at popular Vietnamese restaurant Rice Boi on the Sunshine Coast
Melbourne’s Young and Jackson pub (pictured) has been identified as a Tier One exposure site – it was visited by the infected woman on July 10
The woman’s family say she has taken full responsibility for her actions that saw her cross borders and visit multiple businesses, with a number of venues now closed as a result and locals anxiously awaiting test results.
She was close contacted after visiting Melbourne’s famed Young and Jackson pub in the city’s CBD on July 10, before being notified on July 13.
She says rather than isolating for the full 14 days, she was pressured by friends to go out, so they visited the popular restaurant Rice Boi in Mooloolaba twice in one day on July 15, Queensland Health officials confirmed.
The woman then made her way to her home town of Mareeba in Far North Queensland on July 16, following a negative test result, but soon started developing symptoms and returned a positive result on July 18.
The woman’s family took to social media to defend the 23-year-old, saying she was ‘absolutely no risk to the local community’ despite being infectious with the Delta strain.
‘The woman who tested positive for COVID has been at home isolating since arriving on Friday night, but was transferred via private aircraft to Hospital in Brisbane late yesterday along with another positive case from Hotel Quarantine in Cairns,’ her brother wrote in a Facebook post.
‘All household contacts and family (here and in the Sunshine Coast) have returned a negative result early yesterday morning and are now in isolation (for 14 days) and pose absolutely no risk to the local community.’
Her brother and mother are now in isolation and have initially tested negative but admitted to being ‘out in the community’ prior to the young woman testing positive.
The mother had been at the local races as well as Mareeba Leagues Club on the Saturday before.
The woman then made her way to her home town of Mareeba (pictured) in Far North Queensland on July 16, following a negative test result, but soon started developing symptoms and returned a positive result on July 18
According to the Courier Mail, the woman returned home for the school holidays and caught an Uber, a bus and the Airtrain.
She then flew in to Cairns from Brisbane, where a relative collected her from the airport.
Following news of the infected woman flying in from an identified hotspot in Melbourne, reaction was brutal on social media.
Dozens of people labelled the student ‘selfish’ on a local Facebook community page, with one person asking: ‘how hard is it to stay in your area?’
A third said she felt ‘vulnerable’ as she is elderly.
A spokeswoman from Queensland Health said the woman should have self-isolated for 14 days after receiving the text message from the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria on July 15.
Anyone who has visited a venue deemed a ‘Tier One’ exposure site in Victoria must self isolate – even if the Covid test proves to be negative.
The spokeswoman also stated family members and friends of the woman are now viewed as close contacts and will need to isolate until they receive their result.
The woman, who was transferred to a Brisbane hospital on Monday, was fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
She is also adamant she wore masks while travelling on public transport, but Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young admitted she was concerned the virus may still spread into the community.