“This will be the first positive case of the South African variant in Australia. We have seen other jurisdictions record a UK variant.
“The positive news, the good news about this individual, is that they were in hotel quarantine at the time they were tested and they have since been transferred to a hospital.”
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the strain was “thought to be more contagious” and had been picked up during genome sequencing of the virus carried by the woman.
Dr Young said she had “no concerns” after authorities doubled-back to check their interactions and transfers of the woman for any gaps.
“But it does reinforce the need that anyone coming from overseas does need to quarantine for 14 days,” she said.
South Africa’s health department flagged the new strain last week as potentially responsible for a recent infection surge.
Ms D’Ath also revealed COVID-19 fragments had been detected in wastewater facilities at Victoria Point, Oxley Creek, Goodna, Fairfield and Redcliffe during sewage testing.
“It is unknown if the positive results are as a consequence of new cases, cases that are still developing, or of course old cases where individuals are still shedding,” she said.
“Given the positive results from NSW, it is important that people continue to go get tested if they are experiencing any symptoms at all.”
Two new cases were reported among returned overseas travellers in Queensland hotel quarantine on Tuesday. A total of 11 remain active.
Now one week on from the reintroduction of checkpoints on southern road borders to manage travel from the greater Sydney hotspot, police will add a further crossing at Miles Street, Coolangatta, from 7am on Thursday to relieve pressure on local roads.
In an update on Tuesday, Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said more than 543,000 border declaration passes had already been issued to those wanting to cross the border.
More than 300 vehicles had been turned around.
Ten people have also been issued $4003 fines for giving false information.
Five of these, holidaymakers from greater Sydney allegedly bound for north Queensland, were later tracked down at their Gold Coast unit and placed into hotel quarantine by police.
Toby Crockford is a breaking news reporter at the Brisbane Times
Matt Dennien is a reporter with Brisbane Times.