© Joseph Mayers
© Joseph Mayers

Region believed virus-free despite mining worker scare

THE Cape York region is believed to be still coronavirus-free despite a mining worker who visited the region two weeks ago testing positive to the virus.

The coronavirus tally for the Far North stands at 30, with two more confirmed cases in the Cairns and Hinterland area added over the weekend, and zero for the Cape and Torres Strait.

A Rio Tinto worker tested positive to coronavirus after flying out of Weipa.

Rio Tinto’s Amrun bauxite facility in Weipa.
Rio Tinto’s Amrun bauxite facility in Weipa.

The worker allegedly fell ill five days after leaving, and has gone into self-isolation in Brisbane.

Contact tracing was undertaken, and staff at the $2.6 billion Amrun bauxite mining site were notified.

Weipa Town Authority Chairman Michael Rowland was confident the Cape was still coronavirus-free, claiming the Brisbane-based employee was coronavirus-free when he left Weipa.

"If the person was infected, we'd have had cases start showing up here," he said.

"Rio Tinto have approached all of their contractors.

"They're prepared to stay here for six months, or told to rethink whether or not they can stay for that long. Nobody is going to be flying back.

"Being remote is in our favour, but we're not excluded from the risk and we're doing everything we can to maintain isolation."

Queensland Health could not comment on whether the worker had been infectious prior to leaving Weipa.

Originally published as Cape believed virus-free after mining worker scare