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Queensland records 2222 new COVID-19 cases



Queensland has recorded 2222 new local COVID-19 cases in the last day, bringing the state's total active cases to 8586.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard has warned residents to expect an even sharper increase in cases in the coming weeks.

LIVE UPDATES: Testing sites full before opening

"The really big issue though, and this is key… is that we're not going to be talking about 8000 cases in a few weeks," he said.

"We're talking about tens of thousands of cases.

"And that's what a pandemic is about. It's about a very large numbers."

There are currently 1809 COVID-positive cases being treated from home and 103 being treated with the virus in hospital.

Dr Gerrard has reiterated that the majority of Queenslanders can expect to get the disease at some stage, however symptoms will be vastly less severe for those who are vaccinated.

"This virus will be mild in the vast majority of you," he said.

"That means you can be cared for at home.

"In the next few weeks, all of us will know someone with COVID-19 and there's a good chance we will get it ourselves"

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

This is the first time Queenslanders will really experience the true pandemic, Dr Gerrard warned, saying that it's not possible to avoid the virus forever.

"I'm not concerned about people wanting to avoid getting infected – that's fine," he said.

"It's not a concern.

"What I'm saying is that if we attempt to isolate every casual contact of everyone with COVID-19 in Queensland, then everyone will be in quarantine."

He added that although there is no good time for pandemic, it's fortunate that the virus is spreading during summer.

"January is probably the best time to be experiencing a pandemic because it's warm, and we know the virus spreads more easily in the cooler months," he said.

Regional suburbs that boomed in 2021

Education Minister Grace Grace said "the good news" is that there are still no COVID-19 patients being treated in the ICU.

A total of 35,179 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.

First dose vaccinations in Queensland now stand at 90.16 per cent, while 86.19 per cent of the eligible population are fully vaccinated.

Ms Grace said that although vaccination numbers are pleasing, she would like to see them even higher.

"We would definitely like to see that mid 90s fully vaccinated," she said.

Shipping container set up as temporary morgue

A shipping container has been set up by a Queensland council for use as a temporary morgue in the event of a deadly COVID-19 outbreak.

The temporary morgue was announced by Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Mislam Sam.

This temporary morgue is being set up in anticipation of deadly COVID-19 outbreak on Palm Island.

"We all look at the current infection numbers and think that's what will happen here, that we won't get real sick or die," he said in a Facebook post.

"The big difference is our population is massively under vaccinated compared to the rest of the Queensland.

"All medical advice to us indicates deaths are anticipated from Covid on Palm and that is an avoidable tragedy waiting to happen."

Cr Sam said he doesn't want to see the temporary morgue used at all.

"We have too many funerals now," he said.

"I know this is confronting but it's time for tough advice to be listened to."

He called on residents of Palm Island to come forward to be vaccinated.

READ MORE: How to tell if you have a cold, flu or COVID-19

Palm Island Aboriginal Shire contains a series of indigenous communities off the coast of Townsville.

Authorities in Queensland are now winding back the release of all exposure sites on the state's check-in app.

High-risk venues like music festivals, aged care facilities and flights are still being released.

In the absence of government communication, a Facebook group has been set up listing exposure sites in southeast Queensland.

In the past few days, 44,000 people have joined the group.

There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in ICU wards in the state.

Queensland's first-dose vaccination rate for residents aged over 16 is now 90.49 per cent, while the full vaccination rate of two or more doses now sits at 86.14 per cent.

READ MORE: Warning one in 10 people in NSW could contract Omicron

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