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Qld has 589 cases, told 'get COVID ready'

Qld has 589 cases, told 'get COVID ready'
Photo: Qld has 589 cases, told 'get COVID ready'
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath has asked residents to "get ready for COVID" and prepare a care plan, after the state reported 589 new virus cases.

A new COVID-19 care pathway was announced on Friday, with advice on how people can prepare for a positive diagnosis as the virus spreads across the state.

Since mid December, 32 of Queensland's 77 local government areas have recorded a case of COVID-19.

"By getting COVID ready, you're doing the same as we prepare for our bushfires, for our cyclones, for our floods that we do every year," Ms "D'Ath said on Friday.

The advice recommends preparing a "COVID ready kit", including a thermometer and pain relief, as well as a plan for who will take care of children if parents get sick and how to get groceries.
Ms D'Ath also welcomed a shortening of the wait time for fully vaccinated Queenslanders to get a booster dose, as announced by the federal government on Friday.

Boosters will be brought forward to four months after the second dose from January 4, and three months from January 31.

Queensland's active cases have risen to almost 1400, but Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said only three patients were in hospital with mild to moderate symptoms.

A total of 268 infected people are being managed in their homes and 110 people are in hospital for other reasons.

"It is somewhat surprising that despite the fact (the virus) is everywhere, we are seeing relatively few sick patients in hospital, and that's because the vaccines are working," Dr Gerrard said on Friday.

But as case numbers continue to grow, the "relatively small" proportion of patients getting sick will have an effect on hospitals.

"It is likely there will be significant numbers of admissions to hospital and you can help by wearing those masks," he said.

Meanwhile, the state has not confirmed if rapid antigen tests will be accepted to allow entry for travellers after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk flagged their possible use from January 1.

"In the meantime, we do require PCR tests," Ms D'Ath said, as she pointed to potential supply problems for the rapid tests.

"I don't know if anyone else has gone into any pharmacies or chemists lately, but every one I've walked into, they're selling out the moment they're on the shelves," she said.

"It comes at a cost and they're not available all the time everywhere, so we would still see delays."

The testing requirement for travellers from COVID-19 hotspots will be dropped when the state reaches a double dose vaccination level of 90 per cent.

Currently 85.65 per cent of eligible Queenslanders are fully vaccinated, and 90.25 per cent have had at least one dose.

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