New local virus case emerges on Gold Coast

A person who visited Robina town centre during Black Friday sales has tested positive to COVID-19.
A person who visited Robina town centre during Black Friday sales has tested positive to COVID-19.

A person has tested positive for COVID-19 on the Gold Coast with authorities concerned they visited a major shopping centre during Black Friday sales.

The case - the first recorded in the state in 19 days - has been infectious in the community, Queensland Health says.

The department's public health alert issued on Wednesday warns the person spent time at Robina Town Square shopping centre last Friday.

"We can confirm that there is a new positive COVID-19 case on the Gold Coast," it said.

"Investigation is underway to determine the source of infection ... so we would urge anyone who has visited the location or has symptoms, no matter how mild, to come forward and get tested."

The department listed contact tracing sites at the shopping centre between 1.30pm and 2.45pm on November 26 including Rebel Sport, JB Hi-Fi and Target.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told parliament on Wednesday that while the Gold Coast's vaccination rates were climbing, the community needs to keep going.

"They are currently at 85.6 per cent. They are a tourism destination, I absolutely need them to increase vaccination levels on the Gold Coast," she said.

Meanwhile, schools and childcare centres will be expected to monitor compliance with the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate for workers.

The state government has made vaccination mandatory for anyone aged over 16 who enters a school, childcare centre, prison or airport for work or volunteering.

They must have had one dose by December 17 and be fully vaccinated by January 23 to enter any 'high-risk settings'.

Education Minister Grace Grace says the mandate mirrors those in all other states.

However, she says employers will be expected to police the mandate.

"It's up to the employers in those centres because this does cover all of the government and non-government sectors, and they will have to ensure that people coming onto their site, similar to other areas, are vaccinated," Ms Grace told ABC Radio on Tuesday.

"Obviously, if there's contractors coming up or volunteers, they'll also have to have proof."

When asked about unvaccinated staff potentially losing their jobs come January 23, the minister said: "That will be the health directive and that will be the manner in which we have to implement it".

The mandate will not apply to people with medical exemptions or to parents dropping off or picking up their children at public facilities.

Ms Grace said the government would also soon issue directions on school ventilation to help reduce the risk of virus transmission ahead of the 2022 academic year.

The premier walked back her comments on Tuesday that the new Omicron variant was "far more serious" than Delta after a national cabinet briefing on the strain from federal Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly.

"I will let the prime minister and Professor Kelly comment on this variant as they will have the latest," she told parliament on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Speaker Curtis Pitt has indicated he will soon issue vaccine rules for workers entering parliament.

He stressed he had been working on a policy for some time and was not planning to hold politicians to a different standard to other Queenslanders.

"It is my feeling this House overwhelmingly supports vaccination against COVID-19 and any COVID vaccination entry policy for this parliament precinct will reflect this," Mr Pitt told parliament.

The latest figures show 86.65 per cent of Queenslanders have had one dose of a vaccine and 76.8 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Australian Associated Press