Queensland registers 9,581 new COVID-19 cases and soaring Gold Coast for authorities

The Queensland director of public health said nearly a quarter of all people hospitalized in the state with COVID-19 are on the Gold Coast, suggesting the city is seeing a “significant increase” in cases.

The state has registered 9,581 new cases of COVID from a mixture of PCR and rapid antigenic tests (RATs), but Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said authorities are still awaiting private pathology results.

Of these reported positive results, 3,714 were detected on the RATs.

There are now 419 people treated in the hospital, including 21 in intensive care and seven of them on ventilators.

As of today, children aged five to 11 can get vaccinated in Queensland, and 800 have already been registered at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Center today.

More than 21,000 people have been tested in the past 24 hours.

Chief health officer John Gerrard said the number of cases would start to become a poorer indicator of how the virus is spreading in the community and more emphasis will be placed on hospitalizations.

Dr Gerrard said the Gold Coast was an area of ​​particular concern regarding the spread of COVID.

He said of the 21 intensive care patients in Queensland, 11 were on the Gold Coast.

“A quarter of in-service admissions, 101 out of 419 [are] currently on the Gold Coast, which suggests that there is a large increase in the virus on the Gold Coast, ”said Dr Gerrard.

“This is not surprising given the large number of interstate visitors that are believed to have caused seeding events.

“But I would also like to point out that vaccination rates on the Gold Coast are among the lowest, the lowest in South East Queensland at least.”

Six of the 11 people in intensive care on the Gold Coast are not vaccinated.

“It’s hard to believe in my mind how you can still be unvaccinated now in the midst of a pandemic,” he said.

The other five people were fully immunized but had other complex health problems, such as stroke, brain damage or head trauma.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said 189 masks were distributed by police yesterday, including 168 on the Gold Coast.

“As you heard from the director of health, there are lower immunization levels and an increase in disease on the Gold Coast, so our message to all of our community and especially the Gold Coast, please carry your mask.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the government was unable to announce the total number of new cases today due to an issue at four testing labs across the state .

“We believe it may be due to a software update due to an issue,” she said.

Additional numbers will be reported once the issue is resolved.

Thousands of children reserved for vaccinations

Queensland Health has received more than 26,000 bookings for children aged 5 to 11 to be vaccinated since December, with those vaccinations being administered as of today.

The Prime Minister said around 478,000 children in this age group are eligible for vaccination in Queensland.

“We need to make sure parents register their children, but of course it all depends on the supply from the federal government and I understand we will have an update on that at the national cabinet later this week,” she declared. noted.

People are lining up, including the children.
Vaccination queue in Brisbane on the first day children aged five to 11 are eligible to receive the jab. (ABC News: Steven Cavenagh)

Among Queenslanders aged 16 and over, 91.5% of people have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 87.79% are fully vaccinated.

There were 709,133 booster shots statewide and the prime minister urged more people to sign up to receive their third jab.

“It’s that extra layer of protection you need and it’s really important that you book and do it.”

The Prime Minister said she did not know how many teachers in Queensland were unvaccinated and expected some families to also choose not to have their children vaccinated.

“Let’s try to do as much as possible. I urge families, if you have any concerns, to speak to your GP,” she said.

“It is safe, it is effective and children are being immunized all over the world.”

The Prime Minister dismissed concerns about the mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated children in classrooms.

“The more people who get vaccinated the better, so I just urge parents to go talk to a professional and please encourage you to get your children vaccinated.”

The greatest risk of COVID not for children “but for those around them”

Dr Gerrard reassured parents that their children would be very unlikely to become seriously ill from COVID-19.

“Parents shouldn’t be too worried about this virus, I am afraid we will make parents very worried that it will make their children terribly sick.”

“For the most part, the children will only have mild illness very similar to any respiratory infections they have had in the past.

“There are certainly rare complications of COVID in children, I won’t minimize that, but for the vast, vast majority, it’s just a respiratory virus.”

Dr Gerrard said it was likely there would be an increase in infections when returning from schools.

“The greatest risk is not for the children themselves but for those around them, their parents and their grandparents.”

He urged those family members to use the extra two weeks behind school to receive their booster shots.

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