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29 July, 2021

Tablelanders urged to get vaccinated in wake of local COVID case

TABLELANDERS have been on high alert in recent days after a fully vaccinated Mareeba woman in her 20s returned a positive COVID test just days after arriving back in the region following a trip to the Sunshine Coast from Melbourne.

By Michael Warren

Tablelanders can now be administered their AstraZeneca vaccines at various pharmacies in Mareeba, Atherton and across the region. Mareeba Wholelife pharmacist Josh Klein holds an AstraZeneca vial which are now available to the public.

TABLELANDERS have been on high alert in recent days after a fully vaccinated Mareeba woman in her 20s returned a positive COVID test just days after arriving back in the region following a trip to the Sunshine Coast from Melbourne. 

The Express understands the woman contracted COVID in Melbourne in or around July 10, and unknowingly flew to Maroochydore from Melbourne three days later. 

On July 15 the woman received a text message from Victoria Health officials informing her she had recently attended a ‘tier one’ exposure site at a Melbourne CDB pub. As such the woman immediately took a COVID test and returned a negative result. 

The woman went on to visit more locations around southeast QLD, before flying home from Brisbane to Cairns on Friday, July 16 on flight VA791. 

QLD Health confirmed it’s likely the woman was infectious in the community between July 15-17. Upon her arrival the woman was picked up at Cairns airport by her mother and driven to Mareeba. 

The Express understands that on Sunday, July 18 the woman made the decision to drive to a COVID testing clinic in Atherton, where she underwent, and consequently returned, a positive test. 

Despite returning the positive test The Express understands the woman is in good health. Over the past few days the woman has been flown to Brisbane on a private flight and is currently undergoing strict quarantining in hospital.

 The girl’s close contacts including her mother have all been tested, returned negative results and are now in self-isolation for a 14-day period. 

A family spokesperson made a recent public statement to clarify details about the matter. “All household contacts and family both here (Mareeba) and the Sunshine Coast have returned a negative result yesterday morning and are now in isolation and pose absolutely no risk to the local community,” the family statement read. 

“Yes, myself and her mother have been out in the community over the weekend – but QLD Health have confirmed that because of us returning a negative test yesterday morning, there is absolutely no community risk from our movements over the weekend. 

“We are urging people to please stop making up rumours which is only causing more fear and unrest in our community.” 

In further developments The Express understands a Department of Natural Resources employee from Mareeba was on the same returning flight to Cairns as the woman who returned a positive test. The man took a COVID test last Monday and although QLD Health hasn’t publicly confirmed, it is widely acknowledged that his test has come back as negative. 

“The Department of Resources Mareeba office is operating as normal,” a departmental spokesperson exclusively told 

The Express. Meanwhile, Pharmacy Guild of Australia National President Trent Twomey has confirmed Tablelanders 40 years old and over now have direct access to the AstraZenica vaccine. 

As it stands, residents aged 40-plus in Mareeba, Atherton, Yungaburra, Malanda and Kuranda can now be administered their AstraZeneca vaccines at a range of local pharmacies by calling in advance or simply booking online. 

In Mareeba residents can receive their COVID jab at Priceline Pharmacy and Wholelife Pharmacies and Healthfoods. 

In Atherton the vaccine is directly available at Wholelife Pharmacies and Healthfoods, Tablelands Discount Drugstore and Calanna Wholehealth Pharmacies. 

“Do the right thing by yourself, your family, and the community, this is the only way to protect yourself against serious potential illness or death,” Mr Twomey told The Express. 

“We encourage those over 40 to go and get vaccinated as soon as possible.”


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