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Mystery COVID case closes Brisbane school

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A Queensland high school has been closed for cleaning and contact tracing after a student tested positive to the virus.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath confirmed the infection in the 17-year-old student of Indooroopilly State High School student on Friday morning.

“She became unwell yesterday and went and got tested and overnight her result has come back positive,” she said.

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“There is very little more information at this stage. We need to still identify exposure sites.”

The girl is one of a family of five who live in Taringa, in Brisbane’s south-west, and is thought to have been out and about in the community while infectious for three days. The rest of her family is still being tested.

Genomic testing is underway , as well as further testing to confirm the student’s positive test.

Chief health officer Jeannette Young said the mystery case was “concerning”.

“I’m struggling to understand how she’s acquired it,” she said.

Parents learned of the school’s closure in a late night email from staff. Acting Executive Principal Derek Weeks said specialist cleaners had been called in.

Mr Weeks said a person “connected with the school”, which is one of Brisbane’s biggest, had been confirmed with COVID-19.

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The school will be shut for 48 hours.

The latest coronavirus case comes as Queensland Health battles several outbreaks of the virus this week, including in a guest at a backpackers’ hostel and a Gold Coast man who caught it in hotel quarantine.

“We do know that we have had 13 incursions of the virus into Queensland over the last six weeks,” Dr Young said.

“We know that in any particular outbreak, someone can get infected, not have symptoms and then spread the virus to someone else, which is why it’s critically important that we all remain very, very cautious until the vast majority of people have been able to be vaccinated.”

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