Virus precautions keeping more Queenslanders out of hospital

Marty Silk |

Queensland authorities believe people taking precautions has kept the number of hospitalisations much lower than expected during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Another 13 virus deaths and 10,212 new cases were recorded from 19,926 tests, including 3615 rapid antigen tests, in the 24 hours to 6.30am on Monday.

Four of those who died were aged in their 70s, seven were in their 80s and two were in their 90s, while none had had a booster vaccine.

Chief Health Officer John Gerrard says there are 879 people being treated in hospital for COVID-19 and another 50 patients in intensive care with 12 of those on a ventilator.

He says the number of hospital patients is far lower than the thousands projected and that’s likely due to people following health advice and taking precautions.

“This we believe has to do with people’s changing behaviour in avoiding getting infected,” Dr Gerrard told reporters on Monday.

“So I certainly thank the people of Queensland in heeding the warnings, so it it does appear at this stage that the number of hospitalisations is is lower than we expected.”

He said the outbreak was expected to peak on the Gold Coast in the next week and would peak in Brisbane about seven days after that.

“The impact of the impact of the epidemic is less than we expected so far in this wave, but I’m trying to be cautious here because we still haven’t reached a peak here in Brisbane,” he said.

The state government is also set to release its plan for a COVID-safe return to school later this week, after it goes through cabinet on Monday.

Dr Gerrard said the return of children to school could create a “longer, flatter” peak, which was the aim of public health measures.

“Queensland hospitals are bearing up, but we’ll see in the next seven days, particularly as metropolitan Brisbane peaks, just exactly what happens there,” he said.