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Queensland records deadliest day of COVID-19 pandemic, 15,962 cases


A Gold Coast hospital car park has been turned into a makeshift waiting room as Queensland authorities introduce new restrictions to cut hospital congestion.
The state recorded its deadliest day of the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, with 18 COVID-19 deaths and 15,962 new infections.

Nine of the fatalities where from residential aged care facilities.

Dr Gerrard said the hospitalisations are clearly increasing in Queensland.
Dr Gerrard said the hospitalisations are clearly increasing in Queensland. (9News)

New visitor restrictions for hospitals have been introduced to fight congestion, limiting general ward patients to two visitors, with only one allowed in emergency.

“Some of its just overflow and making sure that we do not have congested emergency departments,” Health Minister Yvette D’ath said.

The Gold Coast University Hospital has set up a tent in the car park for patients waiting for treatment and increasing case numbers in Cairns, Brisbane and Ipswich are also having an effect.

Insiders at Ipswich Hospital say there are COVID-19 patients across five wards despite only one ward having negative pressure to restrict airflow.

“There will never be enough negative pressure rooms to put every COVID patient in when you start having transmissions so wide in the community,” Ms D’Ath said.

Adding to the pressure on the system, the government says more than 6000 health workers — including almost almost 400 ambulance workers — are off work with COVID-19 or isolating as a close contact.

A tent encroaches on the car park at Gold Coast University Hospital as the public health system faces extra pressure. (Nine)

Chief Medical Officer Dr John Gerrard said out of the 45 COVID- related deaths in Queensland since December 13, only one person had received a booster shot.

“The virus does seem to be finding older people who have not received that third dose,” he said.

Of today’s cases, 5984 were reported by positive rapid antigen test results.

There are 819 people are in hospital including 50 people in ICU and 18 people on ventilators.

“That’s a substantial increase from the previous 24 hours when it was 702,” Dr Gerrard said.

“We often find numbers on a Monday are higher than other days, because of lags in discharges over the weekend, that is a common phenomenon in hospitals.”

“Clearly the numbers are going up.”

Dr Gerrard said the peak of the Omicron wave is expected at the end of this month.

New hospital visitor restrictions

Queensland’s Health Minister Yvette D’Ath has announced new visitor restrictions for hospitals in the state as COVID-19 cases surge.

Only two people will be allowed to visit patients in wards.

Only one person in addition to a patient can attend the emergency department.

“We have had some reports from hospitals and health services they are seeing large groups of family members coming into the emergency department together,” Ms D’Ath said.

“We really need to reduce the number of people coming into our emergency departments and moving around our wards.”

Ms D'Ath has announced new visitor restrictions in Queensland hospitals.
Ms D’Ath has announced new visitor restrictions in hospitals. (9News)

Queenslanders urged to have booster shot

Ms D’Ath has urged Queenslanders to come forward for their vaccination even if they have had COVID-19 recently.

“We are seeing a bit of a delay of people coming forward for second doses, particularly those in the 20 to 39 age group,” she said.

“If you have had COVID-19, there is no reason to delay coming forward for a vaccination.”

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She added as long as people have recovered from symptoms, they can come forward for a vaccination straight away.



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