The average Queenslander who contracts COVID-19 is older than when the year started, and there’s a good chance their immunizations aren’t up to date, the state’s chief health officer says.
Residents are being urged to wear face masks and take extra precautions as the state enters its fourth wave and the alert level rises from green to amber.
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“The most important action Queenslanders can take now that we’ve moved to Amber is to make sure you’re up to date with your vaccinations,” Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said Friday.
“This trumps all other measures in importance.”
Two-thirds of people over 65 who tested positive in the past month were not up to date with their vaccinations, and Dr. Gerrard says there’s still time for a booster shot before the wave peaks.
“Please encourage them to get these extra boosters as we know it will prevent you from contracting the disease, becoming seriously ill and ending up in the hospital and potentially dying,” Gerrard said.
“Now, at the start of the wave, is the best time to get vaccinated as your immunity will peak in a couple of weeks and you will be protected from the virus.
“This is exactly the right time to get vaccinated.”
The number of cases among residents in aged care has doubled from 63 to 126 in a week, while cases among those over 70 who are not in care have risen 88 percent from 400 to 825.
“Most of that surge has happened since the weekend, it’s been a pretty quick surge,” said Gerrard.
“It is very likely that all aged care facilities in Queensland will require masks…that will be done by the individual facility, not by government mandates.
“Government-run aged care facilities will now have mask requirements for staff and visitors, and so will public hospitals.”
Based on the numbers
Hospital admissions have more than doubled over the past week to 205, while 73 people have died and 21,761 new cases have been recorded since early October.
The final wave is now expected to peak as early as December or just a week before Christmas.
The Chief Health Officer’s powers to order borders to close, cities to lock down or mandatorily vaccines for the general public were revoked by Parliament last month.
“We’re not going to see lockdowns, travel bans, border closures, nothing like that,” he said.
dr Gerrard can still legally order infected people to isolate and close their contacts and mandate face masks and vaccinations in health facilities for an additional 12 months.
https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/queensland-chief-health-officer-boss-urges-vaccinations-as-state-enters-covid-fourth-wave-c-8828629 Will Queensland go into COVID lockdown? Chief Health Officer boss urges immunizations as fourth wave begins