A YEAR IN REVIEW: How Covid-19 unfolded on the Sunshine Coast.
A YEAR IN REVIEW: How Covid-19 unfolded on the Sunshine Coast.

Flashback: How the story of COVID-19 unfolded on Coast

It was a year that no one could have predicted.

Australia was burning to the ground during the country's most catastrophic bushfire season to date when news began to circulate of a virus outbreak in Wuhan, China.

What started as whispers of concern from overseas turned into the biggest story of anyone's lifetime.

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Sunshine Coast residents experienced it all: Huge job losses, holiday-makers stranded on contagious cruise ships, the tragic loss of loved ones and unprecedented lockdowns from the outside world.

Staff member who cleans the COVID-19 ward Ian Davidson was one of the first to receive the jab at SCUH on Thursday.
Staff member who cleans the COVID-19 ward Ian Davidson was one of the first to receive the jab at SCUH on Thursday.

Thursday was a turning point for the region's COVID-19 recovery as vaccinations began at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

Emergency department nurse Sasha Ritchie and COVID-19 ward cleaner Ian Davidson were the first staff members to receive the jab.

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service chief executive Naomi Dwyer said the rollout on the Sunshine Coast was history in the making.

"We've got our processes and systems ready for this vaccine, and our staff are lining up and keen for the jab," she said.

From January last year to now, here are just some of the major coronavirus-related events that rocked the Sunshine Coast.

January 25: The threat of coronavirus became real for Australians after the country's first case was recorded. A Chinese national in his 50s returned to Melbourne from Wuhan

January 29: Just four days later and COVID-19 had made its way into Queensland. A 44-year-old Chinese national, who was isolated in the Gold Coast University Hospital, was confirmed to have contracted coronavirus

February 19: A Sunshine Coast man was the first in the region to test positive to coronavirus after being stranded on an isolated cruise ship for more than two weeks. Paul and Coralie Williamson were both transferred to hospital

Sunshine Coast couple Paul and Coralie Williamson are among 3700 passengers stranded on a cruise ship off the coast of Japan.
Sunshine Coast couple Paul and Coralie Williamson are among 3700 passengers stranded on a cruise ship off the coast of Japan.

March 11: Fever clinics were activated at the Sunshine Coast's public hospitals in response to the growing coronavirus concern. It comes on the same day the World Health Organisation declares a global pandemic

March 15: Tragedy struck the Coast when the state's first resident died from coronavirus. The 77-year-old woman who lived at Japara Aged Care in Tewantin died in NSW shortly after disembarking a flight from Maroochydore to Sydney

March 19: The Daily broke the news that a competitor from the Mooloolaba Triathlon had tested positive for COVID-19. The mass participation race was held a day before the Federal Government restricted gatherings. About 3000 participants were involved

March 19: The infamous virus ship Ruby Princess docked in Sydney. Thousands of passengers were allowed to roam free in Sydney streets after 900 cases were confirmed and by August, 28 people had died

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk addresses the media. Picture: Attila Csaszar
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk addresses the media. Picture: Attila Csaszar

March 20: Australia's borders are slammed shut. A key adviser to Prime Minister Scott Morrison said bans were here to stay until at least October

March 23: Twenty-four people who attended a 50th birthday party at Noosa's up-market Sails restaurant tested positive for coronavirus. The party was heavily publicised and the venue was closed for some time. Only four Coast residents were included in the positive cases

March 23: It was the news that stopped the nation. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the country would enter a hard lockdown as restrictions were placed on non-essential activities

March 24: Seventeen new coronavirus cases were confirmed by Queensland Health, taking the Sunshine Coast's total to 46. It was the largest increase in cases the Coast saw

March 28: Voting for the Local Government election kicks off and Coast residents were unhappy. Voters made no effort to mask their anger after casting their votes at Nambour's polling booth, saying they felt "bullied" to be there

Joy Willis expresses her outrage at the polling booth at Hungerford Hall in Nambour. Picture: John McCutcheon
Joy Willis expresses her outrage at the polling booth at Hungerford Hall in Nambour. Picture: John McCutcheon

April 10: Police busted nine people at an illegal party in Eumundi, held in breach of strict social distancing laws which carried a $1334 fine

April 26: One month had passed and the tough restrictions worked to keep Queenslanders safe. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced some restrictions would be eased, allowing Queenslanders to go out for recreation provided it was within 50km of their home

May 8: It's announced more restrictions would ease. Restaurants, pubs and clubs could welcome up to 10 patrons at a time for dining, while gatherings of up to 10 people were allowed outside. The region's new top cop urged locals not to host house parties

May 26: The Sunshine Coast became the latest region to squash its coronavirus cases as new data revealed the only patient had recovered

July 20: The Hokkaido bulker which carried at least one passenger who tested positive to COVID-19 came from Asia before anchoring off the Sunshine Coast. One crewman was quarantined at Sunshine Coast University Hospital

July 30: Three young women are charged after allegedly providing false information to border officials. Brisbane and the wider regions are sent into a frenzy with fears of a large outbreak as two of the women had spent more than a week in the community while contagious

August 3: Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young responds after social distancing at Sunshine Coast Stadium came under fire. The stadium received heavy criticism as photos of packed spectators on the eastern hill circulated on social media

Packed crowds were seen on the hill at Sunshine Coast Stadium for Sunday’s Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights game. Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Packed crowds were seen on the hill at Sunshine Coast Stadium for Sunday’s Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights game. Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

August 9: Two teenage girls who allegedly breached COVID-19 rules at a Noosa shopping centre were charged with several offences. The news went gangbusters on social media after the teens allegedly crossed the Queensland border from a COVID-19 hotspot without quarantining

August 17: Immanuel Gardens Aged Care and Retirement Village went into lockdown due to virus fears. Luckily all residents who were tested returned a negative result

August 26: A prison officer at the Queensland Corrective Services Academy tested positive, causing Woodford Correctional Centre to go into stage four lockdown

October 2: It was announced that patrons were allowed to stand up inside and outside venues, giving Coast residents more freedom at their favourite pubs and clubs

Layla Innes from Sunshines Finest Models and Damien Hazel at North Shore Tavern. Photo: Patrick Woods
Layla Innes from Sunshines Finest Models and Damien Hazel at North Shore Tavern. Photo: Patrick Woods

December 10: Dancing came back. Queenslanders could officially let loose inside clubs, with up to one person per 2sq m allowed on the dance floor

December 18: News broke that an infectious woman had visited various locations on the Coast. A fast food chain and service station were among the list of places the woman visited during an overnight stay at Kawana. She was linked to the Northern Beaches cluster which shut down Sydney

January 7: It was a rude wake-up call no one wanted to hear in the new year. A Brisbane hotel quarantine worker contracted the highly-contagious UK strain. Brisbane was sent into a snap three-day lockdown and despite the Coast not being included in the restrictions, many residents rushed to the shops and caused havoc on the region's roads

Toilet paper aisle at Nambour Coles: Panic buyers have already flooded shopping centres on the Coast ahead of Brisbane's three day lockdown, with toilet paper supplies low at Nambour Coles.
Toilet paper aisle at Nambour Coles: Panic buyers have already flooded shopping centres on the Coast ahead of Brisbane's three day lockdown, with toilet paper supplies low at Nambour Coles.

January 25: Australia approved the nation's first COVID-19 vaccine, allowing the first jabs to be rolled out within weeks

February 26: We've come full circle after the first Coast aged care patients successfully received their Pfizer vaccination. Patients at The Ormsby at Buderim were among the first on the Coast to receive the jab

March 4: A nurse and a cleaner were the first two staff members to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at Sunshine Coast University Hospital. There is now more hope than ever of life returning to normal for Coast residents