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(AUSTRALIA) #Coronavirus Report: QUEENSLAND: Has recorded 10,332 new confirmed #COVID19 cases, and its first death related to the current outbreak #AceHealthDesk report

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#AceHealthReport – Jan.06: There are now 42,250 confirmed active cases in the state, however, Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said that number is a “gross underestimation” because many people are being turned away from getting laboratory tests or just staying home.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says latest media report that Queensland records 10,332 new #COVID19 cases and one death as #Omicron spreads through community What you will need in your COVID preparation kitQueensland’s Chief Health Officer says there will be “thousands of cases” of coronavirus in the state in coming weeks, so the state government is urging you to put together a COVID preparation kit.Read more

Posted 9h ago, updated 6h ago

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath provided details on the latest COVID-19 cases in Queensland.(ABC News)

A man in his early 80s who had been treated in hospital for other conditions died on December 27 has been confirmed as a COVID-related death by the coroner.

It is the eighth death recorded from COVID-19 in Queensland since the beginning of the pandemic.

There are 12 people in intensive care with two of those requiring ventilation, and 284 people in hospital in total.

The number of daily cases today is about 3,550 more than the rise reported by authorities yesterday.

Dr Gerrard said the “very infectious” Omicron variant spreading in the community meant the state was going to experience a “very large number of people in the next two to three weeks getting infected and also impacting on our hospitals”.

“Talking to my [health worker] colleagues here, I think we are very good at stepping up to an emergency which is what we are about to see,” he said.

“We are going to be stepping up to a very major emergency in the coming two to three weeks when that emergency drags on for a long time that is much more draining to deal with.”

Dr Gerrard said the large Omicron wave would continue for weeks but he added that also meant the wave would likely subside faster.

He said data indicated at least 80 per cent of the virus circulating in Queensland was the Omicron variant.

New changes to testing requirements as queuing at clinics continues

COVID-19 testing queues on the Gold Coast. (ABC News: Alexandria Utting)

The pressure on the state’s testing facilities is continuing, with the fever clinic at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s hospital set to close at the end of the day.

“The closure is to allow staff to treat COVID-19 patients requiring hospital care, as well as other vulnerable patients who require healthcare,” a statement from Metro North Health said.

An alternative testing site has been opened at QUT Kelvin Grove, in Sports Lane, and will be operational from 8:00am to 8:00pm from tomorrow.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the decision made by National Cabinet to make rapid antigen tests (RAT) available for free to low-income Australians has reduced lines at testing clinics across the state.

“I can advise that we are already seeing a reduction in lines based on the decision of National Cabinet yesterday that people who have a positive rapid antigen test at home do not need to come forward to validate that positive test with a PCR test,” she said.

People in cars formed a long queue at a COVID-19 testing site in Ashgrove again this morning.(ABC News: Glen Armstrong)

Double-vaccinated young people are being urged to stay at home if they develop COVID symptoms rather than join massive queues, which have again formed at testing hubs across Queensland this morning.

A slew of changes has been made to testing requirements to ease pressure on clinics.

This includes patients presenting to hospitals.

“Testing will not be required before patients present to hospitals. In Queensland we had already given this direction to our public hospital,” Ms D’Ath said.

She said she hoped private hospitals will follow suit.

The PCR testing requirement on quarantining international arrivals to Queensland has also been scrapped.

“They will be able to get their test as a rapid antigen test instead, so that we can reduce those lines that we are seeing at our testing clinics across the state,” Ms D’Ath said.

She said the Queensland government welcomed an agreement with the Commonwealth to consult in relation to the reopening of schools.

With the changes taking effect, the Minister urged Queenslanders to only line up for a test under certain circumstances.

“The only people coming forward to get tested right now at our clinics should be people who have symptoms, who have not been able to get access to a rapid antigen test or people who are requiring a day-six test to a household close contact,” she said.

Dr Gerrard urged “fit and healthy” people with COVID symptoms to stay home.

“Even if they cannot confirm it with a RAT test or PCR … sore throat, headache, fever, runny nose cough, please do not come to the emergency department,” he said.

“The biggest problems we’re having in the hospitals and emergency at the moment is relatively well people turning up to the emergency department and causing problems.”

He said most people with the disease start to “improve” within two to three days.

“I would suggest that only seek medical advice or go to a hospital doctor if you become breathless, have significant chest pain or are getting significant dizziness or fainting.”

Number of RATs immediately available to state only 150,000

Ms D’Ath said the half a million rapid antigen tests announced yesterday would not be arriving in the state immediately, only 150,000 will be shipped.

“We were expecting 500,000 tests in the next few days. Unfortunately, the distributor has said that they’re only releasing the 150,000 to us at the moment …They are trying to source more,” she said.

She said the company confirmed “overnight” that 150,000 is all the company could offer.

“We will keep working with them to see if we can get the remainder of the 500,000 that we were told would be available to us,” she said.

She said she hoped the remainder of the tests would arrive “early next week” but refused to make any promises.

“We’re back to where we were in February-March last year when we’re talking about vaccine arrivals,” she said.

What to do if you’re unwell and suspect you have COVID but can’t get a test.

#AceHealthDesk report …………Published: Jan.06: 2021:

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