“Today is the day we have been planning for,” Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.
Three cases are in quarantine. Two are from interstate, and one is from overseas.
Residents who visited exposure sites in Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, Miami, Tugun and Ashmore recently may be identified as close or casual contacts.
One of today’s cases is a student at Broadbeach State School which has been closed.
A message was sent about 7.30am today notifying parents of the case.
A member of a band that played in Byron Bay is also one of today’s new cases.
His bandmates have already left and travelled to Western Australia.
A female who is a close contact of the band member has also tested positive to COVID-19.
There have also been confirmed cases at the Currumbin Bakehouse. That has now been closed for cleaning today.
Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Peter Aitken has urged people in the Gold Coast to wear masks, get tested, check in to venues, and get vaccinated.
The vaccination rate comes as the Queensland government moves forward the state’s border reopening date to December 13, despite the discovery of a new “stealth” variant of Omicron COVID-19.
Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman said Queensland Police, in collaboration with Queensland Health, had been preparing for an outbreak on the Gold Coast.
He said the city’s vaccination rate was not yet high enough.
“Now is the time I cannot stress that enough,” he said.
“Reminding people now go and see a medical professional, not the internet, to address any concerns.”
Borders to open from 1am on Monday
He said police were preparing for borders to open next week from 1am Monday, December 13.
“In relation to the operations themselves, checkpoints will look exactly the same but how they operate as of 1am Monday will be quite different,” Acting Chief Superintendent Wildman said.
He said works were in place to regulate what’s expected to be heavy traffic crossing the border, particularly in the first two days of opening.
For fully vaccinated border residents who can now cross into Queensland, Acting Chief Superintendent Wildman encouraged early download of their X/XR border declaration pass.
“Have this visibly displayed on your dash for entry into Queensland,” he said.
“This will help police to not only manage traffic flows but to determine which vehicles need to be intercepted.
“Even a few seconds delay for each vehicle slows everything down.”
He added while actions would be taken to manage traffic, with more staff called to operate border checkpoints, everyone crossing the border should be prepared to be stopped by police.
“You can be stopped any time you cross into the Queensland border.”