News Coronavirus Qld records 784 new COVID-19 infections
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Qld records 784 new COVID-19 infections

Qld covid-19
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is urging Queenslanders to get their booster shots as cases rise. Photo: AAP
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Queensland has detected 784 new COVID-19 cases but the health system is coping, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.

Quarantine and testing policies are being reviewed and rapid antigen tests may be introduced for some people within 48 hours to take the pressure off testing facilities.

There has not been a spike in case of numbers on Monday with just 70 more infections recorded over the past 24 hours compared to the 714 on Sunday.

However, Ms Palaszczuk warned Queenslanders case numbers would continue to climb.

“I don’t want people to be alarmed by that, the real issue here is what is the impact it is having on individuals in hospitals?” she said.

“We are not seeing any massive impacts on our hospitals, which is really good news.”

Just four “significantly unwell” people were in a hospital receiving care for virus symptoms.

“We are monitoring this very closely,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

There are 3621 active cases in Queensland and 24,515 people were tested in the past 24 hours.

About 75 per cent of cases are the Omicron variant and 25 per cent are Delta, with the majority of infections among people aged 35 and younger.

More than half of the state’s 5798 cases have been diagnosed since the borders reopened on December 13.

Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said the low hospital caseload “suggests the vaccine is working”.

“It is quite striking,” he said.

Dr Gerrard warned Queenslanders the virus had spread to all corners of the state and said they should be “living their lives as if that was the case”.

He reminded people to wear masks indoors and when in crowds, and to get a booster vaccine when they become eligible.

Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk said the government was considering using rapid antigen tests instead of PCR tests for travellers’ day-five tests. The new measure could be introduced within the next 48 hours.

The rapid tests could replace all PCR tests for travellers, with Ms Palaszczuk saying a policy change was unlikely before January 1.

COVID-19 testing centres in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns have been given more resources to increase capacity and reduce queuing times.

Ms Palaszczuk said the government had not expected the 400,000 interstate visitors and this, coupled with private testing clinics closing over the festive period, had added extra burden on Queensland Health’s testing facilities.

More than 350 hospitals and healthcare staff are in quarantine, with 72 confirmed as infected with the virus.

Dr Gerrard said the state’s quarantine rules were also being reviewed, hinting these may be relaxed.

Meanwhile, online vaccination bookings are open for children aged five to 11 years, with jabs set to start from January 10.

“I urge that any parents who have concerns please go and talk to their GP,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

– AAP