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Goondiwindi is the “best place” in Queensland for a COVID-19 outbreak to take place, according to one of the state’s top doctors.
Moree residents will no longer be able to cross the Queensland border following a new COVID-19 outbreak that has led to 33 new cases in New South Wales.

“Its vaccination rates are incredibly high, over 80 per cent double-dosed and over 90 percent single dosed so, in a way it couldn’t have been a better place for a potential outbreak to happen,” Australian Medical Association Queensland vice-president Dr Bav Manoharan told Today.

“The issue with Goondiwindi is, it is on the border with New South Wales, but it is also just north of a couple of very vulnerable communities in northern New South Wales in Boggabilla.

Goondiwindi in Queensland has recorded several new COVID-19 cases. (Nine)

“There are a lot of First Nations people who live in that environment.”

Dr Manoharan said the freight and truck traffic passing through Goondiwindi also made it vulnerable.

“I think as a state we are tracking towards hitting our double dose vaccination rate of 80 per cent in early December, but really there are going to be pockets of vulnerable communities, hard-to-reach communities where the rates are a lot lower,” he said.

Moree residents will no longer be able to cross the Queensland border following a new COVID-19 outbreak that has led to 33 new cases in New South Wales.

The Premier said Moree residents would no longer have access across the Queensland border, except in exceptional circumstances including essential healthcare.

The news comes after Queensland yesterday recorded three new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the regional border town of Goondiwindi.

One case is a contact of a known cluster who is unvaccinated, but Ms Palaszczuk said health authorities were “not concerned about” about that particular person.

Ms Palaszczuk said the cluster the case is linked to is from the nearby New South Wales town of Moree.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at a press conference
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the state recorded three new cases of COVID-19. (Twitter)

One of the other cases in Goondiwindi was another unvaccinated person who was in the community for five days, however their five household contacts have all tested negative for the virus.

The third person to test positive was a woman in her 30s who had been in the community for four days. She had one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

There are no immediate plans to lock down Goondiwindi following the infections. The town has one of the better vaccination rates in Queensland, with well over 90 per cent of eligible residents having had their first dose.

Ms Palaszczuk urged residents of Goondiwindi to get tested if they displayed any symptoms.

“This case is in addition to the positive COVID case who passed through the Goondiwindi BP Truckstop,” he said.

“The community can be assured that Darling Downs Health is working to identify and notify any close contacts as well as exposure sites as they become available.”

“I understand Darling Downs Health is investigating the potential for community transmission and that some of the close contacts from this confirmed case are already in isolation.”

Earlier in the day, Queensland Health said an interstate truck driver tested positive to COVID-19.

Investigations are underway as to whether there is any connection between the truck driver and the three new infections today, however it has been suggested that is not the case.

Premier urges Queensland to get vaccinated

Ms Palaszczuk reiterated her message for Queenslanders to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“If you are unvaccinated and the virus comes into your community, the virus will hunt you out,” she said.

With the state’s borders set to open to the rest of the country on December 17, Ms Palaszczuk warned there will be a surge in cases, and that it is critical for residents to protect themselves against the virus beforehand.

“This is a very brief moment in time where we have this window to get people vaccinated,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“It’s not like the New South Wales and Victoria situation where they had to get vaccinated because the virus was ripping through their communities.”

Ms Palaszczuk also highlighted the need to increase vaccination rates in Indigenous communities, flagging it is an issue she will bring to National Cabinet tomorrow.

“It’s not just a Queensland issue,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

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“This is an issue for Australia and it’s something that will be addressed tomorrow when National Cabinet meets.”

“I’m quite sure that you’ll see myself, [WA Premier] Mark McGowan and [NT Chief Minister] Michael Gunner raise these issues.”

Vaccination rates for Indigenous Australians are lagging around 20 per cent behind those of the non-Indigenous population.

Source: 9News

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