Covid-19: Amber alert issued for Qld, new rules as cases rise

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has declared Queensland is entering a new Covid wave – raising the state’s emergency alert status to amber.

The “amber alert” is activated when there are moderate rates of community transmission and in this case relates to the state entering a new wave.

“It’s time to be alert – not alarmed,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

There are now 203 people being treated for Covid in Queensland hospital – almost double what it was this time last week.

The XBB strain, which is resistant to vaccines and antibodies from previous infections, emerged in Singapore a few weeks ago.

It now makes up more than half of all covid cases in Australia.

Over the last week, 37,097 cases of COVID-19 were reported across Australia, an average of 5,300 cases per day.

Speaking before Parliament on Thursday, Ms Palaszczuk said there has been a 15 per cent increase in Covid cases in the past week and an increase in Covid-related ambulance call outs.

“The fourth wave that we have been expecting has arrived,” she said.

“No one should be alarmed. We have been living with this virus for a long time and Queenslanders know what to do.”

She said the declaration was based on advice from chief health officer Dr John Gerrard.

“The Chief Health Officer has advised that our COVID traffic light system should switch from green to amber.”

Under the Amber status, Queenslanders are asked to wear a mask in the following places:

  • in healthcare settings
  • indoors (if they can’t socially distance)
  • on public transport
  • if you are older or medically at risk
  • if you’re around people who are vulnerable to COVID-19

They should also take a rapid test (RAT) every two days if someone in their household has COVID-19.

The traffic light system is a recommendation, with the new rules not legally enforceable unless the CHO issues a mandate.

More to come.

Originally published as Premier Palaszczuk declares new Covid wave in Qld, moves to Amber status, as cases climb


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