Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard (Photo: Qld Health)

December 18, 2021

Thirty-one new cases of COVID-19 in Queensland were announced by the State Government on Saturday morning along with a string of new contact tracing locations.

Two of the new cases were acquired overseas and detected in hotel quarantine, and five were instate travellers who were not in quarantine.

Twenty-four were acquired within Queensland.

One person caught the virus in the community, with no known links; eight were contacts of known cases; and 15 cases are still under investigation.

There are now 109 active cases in the State, including a confirmed 12 with the Omicron variant.

A public health alert has been issued for new contact tracing locations across the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Mackay and Townsville.

Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard confirmed a positive case has been identified linked to Toowoomba Hospital. 

Other cases in health care settings – either staff or visitors – include the North West Private Hospital in Brisbane; Princess Alexandra Hospital, Bluecare Homefield Aged Care facility in Mackay and at least one GP practice in Brisbane.

Dr Gerrard said cases identified in healthcare settings were “inevitable” as the epidemic progressed.

Darling Downs Health has confirmed the Toowoomba case is a hospital staff member who was double-vaccinated and asymptomatic while at work.

Dr Gerrard said the 31 new cases announced on Saturday was effectively a 50 per cent increase on Friday.

“As expected the number of cases we see in Queensland continues to increase,” Dr Gerrard said.

“In addition we know there are cases that we will not be diagnosing that are in the community.

“This is what we expected. We expected that in the coming weeks we are going to see very large numbers of cases of COVID-19 in the community.”

However, Dr Gerrard emphasised none of the recent cases or those in hospital were seriously unwell.

He expected the Omicron strain would become dominant in Queensland over the coming weeks.

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