26 September 2023

Health Chief warns of COVID complacency

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Queensland Health’s Chief Health Officer says the slowing transmission rate of COVID-19 is no reason for complacency.

John Gerrard said Queenslanders should continue to keep up to date with their vaccinations.

“The number of active cases increased 73 per cent between 9 and 16 November, but by only eight per cent the following week, consistent with the national trend,” Dr Gerrard said.

“While the number of people hospitalised with COVID-19 increased from 245 on 16 November to 312 on 23 November, this is significantly lower than in previous waves and we expect this number to fall in coming weeks.”

He noted that most of the people in hospital with COVID-19 were over the age of 70.

“It is essential people remain up to date with their vaccinations because they are the safest and most effective way people can protect themselves, their loved ones and the most vulnerable people in the community,” Dr Gerrard said.

“I also encourage Queenslanders over the age of 70 to have a plan to obtain antiviral treatments if they do get infected.”

He said the case number trend meant Queensland’s new COVID-19 traffic light system remained on amber.

“The traffic light is currently amber given the moderate risk of COVID-19 in the community and Queenslanders are asked to continue to follow the appropriate advice,” Dr Gerrard said.

“This means wearing a mask in healthcare settings, indoors if you cannot socially distance and on public transport.”

Introduced in October, the traffic light system consists of three levels — green, amber and red — that signal the level of risk posed by COVID-19 in the community, and corresponding advice.

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