The manager of the building where the Gold Coast’s latest COVID-19 case resides has been calling guests to cancel bookings while awaiting advice from Queensland Health.
- A Gold Coast man has tested positive to COVID-19 after returning from Melbourne
- The man is believed to have been infectious in the community for 10 days
- He resides at the Island Beach Resort at Broadbeach
A man in his 30s who tested positive to COVID-19 yesterday has lived at the Island Beach Resort in Broadbeach for around 12 months.
The man is believed to have been infectious since October 9 when he was in Melbourne.
Building manager Greg Jermyn said he had been away for a period of time and only found out where the man had been after the premier’s announcement this morning.
“A week ago he came back again, he’s been really quiet,” Mr Jermyn said.
“I just don’t know what he’s thinking … just by staying in a room.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there would be an investigation to determine how, and when, the man entered the state from Melbourne, without quarantining.
There were initial concerns that local Uber users may have also been at risk due to the man’s occupation as a driver.
But in a statement Uber said, “We can confirm that this driver-partner has not driven with the Uber platform since September 19”.
Resident in secluded part of building
Mr Jermyn said no-one else lives in the section of the building where the man resides.
“We live underneath his unit in another section. I’ve had no contact with him at all.”
Neighbour John Levick said he heard authorities rushing around the resort last night.
“I was just sitting out on my veranda having a beer and just watching all the medicos walk past with all their gear on. I didn’t know what was going on,” he said.
“A few cops there as well, knocking on doors and trying to get into his unit I think.”
Mr Levick said he was worried for his neighbour who he described as “fit as a fiddle”.
“I don’t think he should’ve gone to Melbourne. I think that’s a pretty silly thing to do.”
Mr Levick said he was “shattered” for the Gold Coast community and said it was “a bit of a shame” that the virus had come to Broadbeach.
“I hope we don’t go into a full lockdown because of this. Everyone’s been doing the right thing, wearing their masks, then all of a sudden this happens,” he said.
Mr Jermyn was awaiting advice from Queensland Health but said he was already cancelling holiday bookings.
“I keep going back to this Queensland Health [exposure] site, it’s not up there yet,” he said.
“As if it’s not bad enough as it is.”
The case is an added pain to an already “terrible” year for business.
“You’ve got no flights in, we do get a trickle down from people coming down from Brisbane on weekends, school holidays weren’t too bad,” Mr Jermyn said.
‘Delta is coming’
Minister for Small Business and Employment Di Farmer said MPs were notified about the case on the Gold Coast this morning.
She said it highlighted the need for people to urgently get vaccinated as positive cases were likely to continue occurring, particularly as restrictions and border closures ease.
“Yes I heard the news this morning that this unvaccinated Uber driver had been infectious in the community for ten days,” she said.
“This highlights why it’s so important for people to get vaccinated.
“There are still 156,000 people on the Gold Coast who are unvaccinated. The Gold Coast has lower rates than the state average which means that they are at risk when Delta comes to town.
Coast hospitals under pressure
Gold Coast Health executive director of medical services Dr Jeremy Wellwood said those who chose to remain unvaccinated were “standing on the tracks” as COVID-19 hurtled toward the city.
“COVID-19 is here. It’s on the Gold Coast and it is in the community,” he said.
“The COVID-19 wave is a freight train that is coming right here to the Gold Coast and if you are unvaccinated you are standing on those tracks.”
He issued a somber warning, saying:
Dr Wellwood warned Gold Coast hospitals could bow under the strain of a new outbreak.
“We know we may have three or four wards full of sick people, 30 or 40 people in intensive care, people dying of COVID pneumonia, and thousands of people in the community on virtual home care,” he said.
“This is real, this is happening.
“We know it’s going to happen on the Gold Coast. We know there is going to be a significant number of people in intensive care and there will be significant numbers of people sick.
“It’s so frustrating because we can see it coming.”
Ms Farmer said vaccination was the only way forward if people want things to “return to normal”.
“So we need Gold Coasters to support each other.