Queensland records six deaths and 19,709 new cases of COVID

Queensland has recorded six deaths as a result of COVID, while an increase in cases causes hospitalizations to jump.

The state registered 19,709 new cases in the most recent reporting period, including 6,087 through rapid antigen testing.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said there are 649 people being treated for COVID symptoms in hospitals, including 46 in intensive care.

Fourteen people are in fans.

Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said all six people who died had significant underlying health conditions.

One was in the 20s, one in the 70s, two in the 80s and two in the 90s.

“All of these people had actually received a vaccine,” said Dr. Gerrard.

“It’s a reminder that even the vaccinated can get serious illness, especially if you have underlying medical problems.”

Dr. Gerrard said there was a 10 per cent increase in the number of cases in Queensland hospitals in the 24 hours leading up to Friday at.

“It’s likely that there’s a good chance this will start the last climb before we reach a peak sometime in the next two weeks,” he said.

“It’s quite likely that we will continue to see this increase over the next two, three weeks, that’s what we have anticipated.”

Dr. Gerrard said it is likely that the number of cases will peak at different times throughout the state. A peak would be determined when hospitalizations stabilize.

‘Enough capacity in hospitals’

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said modeling suggests public and private hospitals around the state will be able to cope with the number of patients at the top.

She said the government would be able to set up “pop-up” triage departments in places like convention centers if needed.

However, 637 new beds were made available in the private system on Friday and a further 800 will be made available today.

“I think they have five to 6,000 beds in the private system and we have about 8,000 bed capacities, but that’s not our total beds, but how many we think we need access to for COVID.” she said.

“So far, we believe modeling at the top we can handle in both our public and private hospital systems.”

Ms D’Ath said she was particularly concerned about staff in the private elderly care sector and would talk to the federal government, which oversees them, today.

“If we have to start pulling staff out of the public health system to go into private elderly care … it will somehow put more pressure on our system negatively,” she said.

She said many of the state’s hospitals and health services are being contacted by concerned family members who are banned from visiting.

“This is a decision made by the individual elderly care facility to do this, but we ask families to understand why this is happening,” she said.

“There are many outbreaks in geriatric care across Queensland, now many, many facilities have positive cases both in housing and staff.”

When to call an ambulance with COVID symptoms

Dr. Gerrard said people with COVID should refrain from showing up for emergencies or calling an ambulance unless they are experiencing shortness of breath – especially when walking short distances in the house.

“It’s the symptom where you have to call an ambulance and get to the hospital … not just have a fever,” he said.

Dr.  John Gerrard speaks at a lecture with the Brisbane skyline in the background.
Chief Health Officer John Gerrard held a media conference with Mrs. D’Ath Saturday morning.(
ABC News: Michael Lloyd
)

He said that if the fever does not improve within 72 hours, they should also seek medical attention with the virus.

Other serious symptoms that may require medical attention include significant chest pain, coughing and “sometimes coughing up blood”.

Several quick antigen tests arrived in the state yesterday and more will be here in a few days.

Dr. Gerrard ideally said that people will confirm their diagnosis when more tests come.

“If you have the typical symptoms now that we’re approaching the top, you can diagnose yourself,” he said.

Ms D’Ath said she was “thrilled” that 8.54 percent of children ages 5 to 11 had been vaccinated since they were eligible on Monday.

And 898,909 people in the state have received a booster dose of the vaccine.

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