Queensland posts 3587 new virus cases
Queensland has added 3587 infections to its COVID-19 caseload as a new indoor mask mandate comes into effect across the state.
Some 16,688 Queenslanders now have the virus. However, hospital numbers remain low with 112 patients in care, five of them in ICUs and none requiring ventilation.
Health authorities say testers processed almost 34,000 results in the 24 hours to 7pm on Saturday.
Queensland is 86.60 per cent fully vaccinated for everyone 16 and over.
Chief Health Officer John Gerrard says despite a jump of more than 1300 cases in a day, he’s not surprised. In part, the increase is related to a change in reporting protocols which saw case figures taken from a 12-hour window on Friday.
“This number is probably a bit smaller than we had expected,” he said in Brisbane on Sunday of the latest figures.
“It probably (also) relates to testing over the holiday period and so it will not be a surprise at all that in the next couple of days we see a significant increase in cases as more samples are tested and more people come forward.”
Dr Gerrard said what experts were now seeing with the virus was that it was “a vastly different disease” to that which was spreading in the community last year and prior to vaccination.
“With a degree of contagiousness of this virus, we are going to be seeing very large numbers of cases, even though the severity is clearly going to be less,” he said.
“We are going to see very large numbers of cases and a small proportion of a very large number (who fall ill) is still a large number.”
Masks were declared compulsory in “virtually all indoor spaces” in Queensland from 1am on Sunday.
“We felt it was time. People have been wanting this and expecting this,” Dr Gerrard said on Saturday.
Previously masks were only required indoors at supermarkets, shops, on public transport and ride share as well as airports and planes, cinemas and theatres in Queensland.
They now need to be worn at workplaces unless unsafe to do so, pubs, clubs and cafes unless when seated, indoor stadiums and sport arenas, libraries, hair dressers and nail salons, and medical centre waiting areas.
Queenslanders were also urged to return to work-from-home arrangements where possible.AAP