Queensland Cases ‘Increase Significantly’ As Omicron Cluster Grows
Premier pushes booster shots
The sunshine state is bracing for a wave of Covid cases over the festive season after reporting 59 new infections on Monday.
One case has been acquired overseas, while 16 are linked to interstate travel, another 16 are linked to know cases and 33 are under investigation.
Stay up-to-date on the latest news with The National Briefing - keeping you in the loop with breaking news as it hits.
It comes as health authorities are keeping a close watch on a potential Omicron 'super-spreader event' involving 267 people after a cluster of 15 people have tested positive following a graduation ceremony of Griffith University's nursing and paramedic students which was held in Brisbane one week ago today.
Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard warns Covid cases are roughly doubling every 48 hours and are expected to "increase significantly" into the new year.
"This is consistent with what we've been saying over the past week, where we're seeing roughly a doubling in the number of cases every 48 hours roughly," Dr Gerrard said.
"So, we do expect the cases to increase significantly, and the trend has continued as we head into January."
Dr Gerrard has confirmed that there are 43 cases of Omicron, making it the dominant strain.
"In terms of the locations of cases, [they are] very similar to what we've seen in the past few days, including Brisbane South and North, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba region and Townsville."
- Dr Gerrard
The new cases were detected from 13,395 swabs collected on Sunday,
Meantime, with 84.51 per cent of eligible people in Queensland now fully vaccinated, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is pushing for people to get their booster shots.
“If you are unvaccinated now is the time to go and get the vaccine, and it also important to get your booster shot if you are at your five-month mark,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The Premier is also urging Queenslanders and visitors to wear masks indoors.
"What we are saying today is that we strongly recommend that you wear your mask in an indoor setting so we're not mandating it."
- Premier Palaszczuk
Face masks are currently mandatory in retail venues, public transport, hospitals and airports but the Premier said despite the rising case numbers, there was no plan to expand the current requirements.
Across Queensland there are 197 active cases of Covid.
Get the latest breaking news from SCA newsrooms around Australia. Short, simple and everything you need to know.