December 21, 2021

COVID-19 quarantine rules will ease in Queensland from 1:00am on Wednesday for fully vaccinated people who have come into “close contact” with a positive case.

The 14-day quarantine period will be halved to seven days.

However, the quarantine period will remain at 14 days for unvaccinated contacts.

Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard told Tuesday’s COVID media conference the new rules were “consistent with the national guidelines”.

The seven-day rule has been brought forward; it was originally supposed to come into effect on January 1.

Dr Gerrard said the change was possible as Queensland’s double-vaccination rate is above 85 per cent for people aged 16 and over.

The change is also expected to relieve pressure on the QPS and QAS which currently have a number of staff members away from work in isolation.

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A record number of confirmed COVID-19 cases were announced in Queensland on Tuesday.

A total of 86 new cases were announced – with only one person in hotel quarantine.

This is the largest number of COVID-19 cases announced in Queensland in one day since the pandemic began last March.

Queensland currently has 269 active cases.

Dr Gerrard said the source of infection for most of these was still under investigation.

But, as expected, the number of new cases was doubling every 48 hours – a trend seen around the world for Omicron.

“You can do the maths yourself. If we double cases every 48 hours we will expect thousands of cases in January,” Dr Gerrard said.

Dr Gerrard confirmed that one of COVID-19 patients in hospital had been shifted into intensive care “as a precaution”.

And he said Queensland Health was also working to manage a number of the 75 patients currently in hospital outside the hospital environment to clear beds.

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A record 3057 new cases of COVID-19 were announced in NSW on Tuesday, taking the weekly tally in that State to 15,727 (up from 3768 last week).

There are 18,798 active cases, including 284 in hospital, 39 in ICU and 11 requiring ventilation.

There are almost 1400 healthcare workers in NSW currently off work due to COVID-19 – either after testing positive to the virus or in isolation after being exposed to someone with COVID.

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