New case numbers, schools return could be delayed

Queensland parents are on tenterhooks awaiting the state government’s decision on whether classrooms will open as scheduled for Term One.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday warned that it was possible a return to school could be delayed due to the spread of COVID-19 across the state.

She said a decision had not been made yet, but more would be known in coming days.

Brisbane Queensland covid coronavirus testing
Queenslanders have been urged to stay home as COVID-19 cases soar. (Toby Crockford)

Children aged five to 12 have not yet had the chance to be vaccinated in Queensland, while the state has recorded more than 20,000 COVID-19 cases in the past two days.

The vaccination program for primary-school aged children is set to open next week.

Victoria and NSW have both set new daily records today, with Victoria’s new tally the highest for any state or territory during the pandemic.

Health authorities have said the current wave is expected to be short and sharp, but that the next few weeks will be a bruising time for hospitals.

To minimise the risk of spread, and the pressure on the health system, Ms Palaszczuk has urged Queenslanders to stay home whenever possible for at least the next six weeks.

Queensland recorded 10,953 cases of the virus yesterday, though Ms Palasczuk said the real number was “absolutely” higher, due to people testing and self-managing the virus at home.

“We are not going to stop this wave,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

A sign on display advises the public to the requirements of face masks.

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“But we will make sure that we are keeping as many people safe as possible.”

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