Sunshine Coast students ordered to be tested in bid to find Covid outbreak missing link, end lockdown



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Hundreds of Sunshine Coast school students and staff have been asked by Queensland Health to undergo surveillance testing to find any missing links. Picture: NCA Newswire / Dan PeledSource:News Corp Australia

Hundreds of Sunshine Coast school students and staff have been ordered to get a Covid-19 test, as health authorities scramble to piece together how the Queensland Delta outbreak started.

As of Tuesday morning, six Brisbane schools have been listed as exposure sites with more than a dozen students infected with the virus as a result of the current outbreak, which health authorities have genomically linked to a returned traveller who was treated at the Sunshine Coast Hospital.

In an attempt to find any potential missing links, Queensland Health has confirmed they are doing “some precautionary surveillance testing” at several Sunshine Coast schools.

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Hundreds of Sunshine Coast school students and staff have been asked by Queensland Health to get tested in an effort to stamp out any ‘missing links’. Picture: NCA Newswire / Dan PeledSource:News Corp Australia

“This is not because of a current known case in any of those school communities,” a Queensland Health spokesperson said.

“We would like to rule out any possible link to the cluster in the Brisbane schools by conducting these tests.

“We will not be providing further details of the schools at this time, to ensure each school has ample opportunity to discuss the matter with teachers, students and parents impacted in the first instance.”

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Children are among the hardest hit during this Covid-19 outbreak, with more than a dozen having tested positive to the virus. Picture: NCA Newswire / Dan PeledSource:News Corp Australia

According to the ABC, Buderim’s Immanuel Lutheran School and Sunshine Coast Grammar School are among those affected.

The latest outbreak began on Thursday, when a 17-year-old high school student from Brisbane’s west tested positive to Covid-19, despite having no known contact with any other positive cases.

Since then, another 28 people, including her family and a tutor, have tested positive.

On Monday, 13 new cases were confirmed, ten of which were children under the age of nine.

New cases will be confirmed on Tuesday, including a student at Brisbane Girl’s Grammar School, prompting a significant proportion of the school community to go into 14 days quarantine.

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Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young says she ‘genuinely doesn’t know’ how the virus spread through southeast Queensland. Picture: NCA Newswire / Dan PeledSource:News Corp Australia

The genome sequencing has been linked to two returned travellers who arrived into Brisbane on June 29. One person was treated at the Gold Coast and later returned home to Western Australia, while the other was treated at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and returned to his home on the Sunshine Coast.

On Monday, chief health officer Jeannette Young said although serology testing suggests the man did not spread the virus, she was concerned there was undetected spread on the Sunshine Coast.

“I genuinely don’t know how it’s got from those two people who came into Queensland on June 29 and now we’ve seen this outbreak,” she said.

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