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

January 1, 2022

There are now 35 confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to the Cherbourg outbreak, including 25 people who live in the community.

The figures were released by Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard at the media briefing on Saturday morning.

He said Cherbourg Mayor Elvie Sandow and Council were working actively with stakeholders to support the Cherbourg community.

Dr Gerrard said 138 tests were carried out at Cherbourg on Friday and Rapid Antigen Test kits were now also being used.

Sixty-seven people were vaccinated in Cherbourg on Friday, including at the local residential aged care facility (Ny-Ku Byun).

He said vaccination rates for Cherbourg were now about 68 per cent (1st dose) and 57 per cent (2nd dose).

Dr Gerrard said 300 food boxes had also been sent to Cherbourg Council for distribution to assist people in isolation or quarantining at home.

He confirmed one Cherbourg resident had been transferred to Toowoomba Hospital, however this was to support their isolation not because they were unwell.

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Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council advised on Saturday morning there are up to 43 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the South Burnett – including Cherbourg, Murgon, Kingaroy and Nanango.

“We have been advised of 28-30 cases confirmed in Cherbourg so far with numbers expected to increase,” the Council statement said.

“With the growing numbers in our community, Health are prioritising testing and vaccinations for Cherbourg residents.

“If you have been diagnosed with the COVID virus – you are asked to please stay at home with your family for seven days. Do not move around in the community. The local health team will monitor you daily.

“If you get a phone call from a number with no ID please answer as it most likely will be Queensland Health.

“There is a 24-hour Help Line for First Nations residents that is manned by an Indigenous health worker. If you are anxious, have questions, need help or support of any kind (like for food or medicine etc.) please call 0436-378-946 or call Cherbourg Hospital on 4169-8800.

“Testing will be at Cherbourg Hospital every day. Rapid testing will be prioritised to close contacts and anyone with symptoms and Cherbourg residents.

“Common symptoms of the Omicron variant include the common flu like symptoms as well as a scratchy throat and a croaky voice.

“Vaccinations are happening every day at Cherbourg CRAICCHS clinic, and Cherbourg residents will be prioritised.”

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There are now 13,958 active cases of COVID-19 across Queensland.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles announced the new figure on Saturday morning.

He said there were 2266 new cases, but noted the reporting period for new cases had now changed.

This means Saturday’s total (2266) should not been seen as lower than Friday’s figure (3118).

Using the same time period, Friday’s figure would have been 1613 so the cases numbers were still showing “a continuing upward trend”.

Dr Gerrard said COVID-19 was now widespread across Queensland but vaccination was proving to be a very effective measure in preventing serious disease.

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The State Government has increased mask requirements in response to the growing number of cases in the Queensland community.

From 1:00am on Sunday, masks will be required to be worn indoors in all settings except in the family home, while doing strenuous exercise or in workplaces where it is safe not to do so.

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From December 31, Queensland Health is only listing major outbreak venues or “super-spreader” events on its COVID-19 exposure site web page.

“We are no longer routinely listing exposure sites in Queensland since transmission of COVID-19 is now widespread throughout metropolitan, regional and remote Queensland,” a statement on the website says.

“You need to consider any movement through the Queensland community as a risk for COVID-19 infection. So make sure to maintain social distancing, perform regular hand-hygiene, monitor for symptoms, and get tested if you develop any symptoms.”

NSW and Victoria have also stopped providing online lists of exposure sites.

Locations in South Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia and New Zealand are still listed.

* * * has been keeping track of some basic statistics for local Council areas since the re-opening of the State border on December 13.

These statistics, from Queensland Health, show the total number of confirmed positive cases per Local Government Area since the pandemic began in January 2020.

They are NOT the total of current ACTIVE cases but demonstrate how the virus is now spreading quickly throughout the local community.

We took snapshots on Dec 13, Dec 21, Dec 29, Dec 30, Dec 31 and Jan 1:

  • South Burnett: 3 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 18 / 21
  • Cherbourg:  – / – / – / 3 / 12 / 21
  • Toowoomba: 52 / 56 / 233 / 312 / 368 / 396
  • Gympie: 7 / 6 / 23 / 26 / 38 / 43
  • North Burnett: 3 / 3 / 5 / 5 / 8 / 9
  • Somerset: 6 / 6 / 14 / 15 / 15 / 20
  • Western Downs: 3 / 3 / 16 / 18 / 23 / 30

NB. Data is reported by Queensland Health daily but can vary over time due to case reviews. When we took the first snapshots, Cherbourg LGA had not been added to the list by Qld Health. From December 31, data is current to 7:00pm the previous day.

[UPDATED with correction.  An earlier version of this report stated the reporting period for new cases had changed from 7:00am-7:00am (24 hours) to 7:00am-7:00pm the day before (12 hours). However, the 12-hour figure was only correct for the statistics released on January 1. From January 2, the statistics again cover a 24-hour figure, from 7:00pm-7:00pm.]

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