Young persons die among 10 new Covid deaths in Queensland

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Queensland has recorded 11,947 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths, as health authorities predicted the peak of the Omicron wave would come in days.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the deaths had been of people in their 30s to their 90s.
There are 863 people with COVID-19 in hospital, 47 of whom are in intensive care.
Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard said the new COVID-19 deaths included one person in their 30s, who was unvaccinated.
Ms D’Ath also announced a number of changes to essential worker isolation rules.
Essential workers who would normally be required to isolate as close contacts are already allowed to return to work if they test negative and are asymptomatic.
Now, they will be required to undertake a rapid antigen test on days one, two, four and six of their return.
Employers will be required to make those tests available, and the worker’s return must be conditional on agreement between employer and employee.
“We want that to be very consultative,” Ms D’Ath said.
The beverage, telecommunications, broadcasting and journalism industries will from tomorrow be included in the essential industries category.
Ms D’Ath also clarified that essential health workers included non-volunteer aged care and disability workers.
Queenslanders have also been told rapid antigen test supply is set to improve in the coming weeks.
They are urged to check social media channels, such as a pharmacy’s Facebook page, before contacting the pharmacy via phone, as employees are struggling with the volume of inquiries.

Peak expected at week’s end

Health authorities have said the Omicron peak is expected towards the end of the coming week, first in the Gold Coast and Brisbane before moving toward the regions.
Queensland has recorded about 250,000 cases so far, but Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard has said the real number is likely to be closer to a million due to people self-managing their illness at home.
“We’re not going to be able to tell we’ve reached the peak until we’ve passed it,” Dr Gerrard said today.
He said it would be marked by consecutive days of falling hospitalisation numbers.
“We already know it’s not going to be uniform in Queensland,” he said.
The waiting period between the second vaccine dose and the booster shot will be shortened in Queensland from tomorrow, as the state creeps closer to the 90 per cent double-dose mark.
From Monday, the waiting period for the booster will be cut to three months, in line with jurisdictions such as NSW.
Queensland is currently sitting on an 89.14 per cent double-dose vaccination rate.