Qld has 10 COVID-19 deaths, 11,947 cases

Marty Silk |

Another 10 people have died in Queensland’s COVID-19 wave as the state records 11,947 new cases, with the state preparing to ramp-up its booster vaccine drive.

Those who died were aged from their 30s, to their 90s, with seven in their 80s, and none had received a booster shot yet.

“This is not easy knowing that people are going to lose their lives from this virus,” Health Minister Yvette D’Ath told reporters on Sunday.

“What it does is reinforce the importance of getting vaccinated and getting your booster.”

Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said there are 863 patients being treated for COVID-19 in hospital and another 47 in intensive care and 17 people on ventilators.

He said while the number of hospitalisations had dropped over 24 hours, it did not indicate a trend yet.

“I wouldn’t overinterpret that,” he said.

“There are a number of reasons why that number could have dropped including changes in discharge practices on the weekends.”

Ms D’Ath said 65.3 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have now had a booster and from Monday, anyone in Queensland who had their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in October or earlier will become eligible for a third jab.

She also said the definition of “critical essential worker” will be broadened to allow workers in more industries who are quarantining as close contacts to go to work, with certain conditions.

That will include workers in telecommunications, broadcasting and journalism, private and public aged care and the disability sector.

The health minister said the rules will require both employers and workers to agree to leave quarantine because some may also be caring for sick family members.

Ms D’Ath said it’s best practice for companies to test workers daily and it will be expected when more RATs arrive in the state.

“It is in their best interests to not allow the virus to come in and infect other workers in that workplace because they could end up with the whole workplace in isolation because they’re positive,” Ms D’Ath said. 

“The ability to be able to bring these workers back into the workplace comes with responsibility, and that is to do everything possible to minimise the risk that that person is positive and bringing it back into the workplace and spreading it.”