COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Qld, mask mandates still off the table

The number of people being treated in hospital for COVID-19 continues to rise, increasing the pressure on the state’s health system.

Queensland recorded 6.682 new cases of the virus in the last 24 hours, taking the number of active infections across the state to 49, 359.

There are 815 people being treated in public hospitals, including 16 in intensive care. There are also 99 people being treated in private hospitals including two in ICU.


There are also 53 people being treated for influenza, meaning 967 hospital beds are being taken up across the state by both COVID-19 and the flu.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said staff shortages were also putting extra strain on the health system.

Around three per cent off staff are usually off sick but that number is currently sitting around the 6-7 per cent mark.

“You get an idea of the pressures being faced on our hospital systems,” Ms D’Ath said outside a Sunshine Coast hospital on Monday.

Ms D’Ath also reiterated the call for people to wear masks indoors but maintained there was no mandate for the direction.

“We’ll take the advice of the chief health officer and the health professionals,” she added.

“At this stage it is not being recommended.”

It comes amid reports one in three aged care homes in Queensland are battling COVID outbreaks, sparking calls from the sector’s peak body for more Australian Defence Force personnel to be sent into facilities.

A program has been underway since February to add more ADF nurses into aged care homes, however only 15 are said to still be working across Queensland.

Minister D’Ath said it was vital the Commonwealth stepped up support where needed.

“The fact is the vulnerability of those residents is already high,” she said.

“If you cannot have a reasonable or a safe staff to patient ratio … if you cannot maintain those ratios in a safe way then someone’s got to step in and manage and look after those residents.”

“We heard some awful stories earlier in the year where residents were being locked in their rooms, they weren’t getting any time to see people, the food was inadequate because there was no staff there providing proper meals. I hope we don’t see that again.

“If the ADF is what the aged care facilities want and that’s what the Commonwealth are willing to provide then it should be done.”