A Queenslander in their 20s has died with COVID-19 while the state recorded 19,709 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said 6087 of the cases were reported by positive rapid antigen test results.

Six people have died after testing positive to the virus, including a person in their 20s.

A person in their 20s has died with COVID-19 in Queensland.
A person in their 20s has died with COVID-19 in Queensland. (9News)

Chief Medical Officer Dr John Gerrard said there are 649 people in hospital including 46 in ICU, of whom 14 are ventilated.

“There was an increase in Queensland hospitals of 10 per cent in the 24 hours leading up to 7pm last night,” he said.

“We will continue to see this increase over the next two to three weeks.”

“It is likely to that there is a good chance of this is the beginning of the final surge before we reach a peak sometime over the next few weeks.”

Aged care facilities across Australia are facing COVID-19 outbreaks and staff shortages.
Some aged care facilities in Queensland have locked down due to COVID-19 outbreaks. (Getty Images/Maskot)

Ms D’Ath addressed COVID-19 outbreaks in residential aged care facilities and among aged care workers.

She added some facilities are locking down due to these outbreaks and asked families to understand why they cannot visit.

“We do ask families to understand why this is happening,” she said.

“Any measures those facilities are taking is trying to reduce the risk of exposure of those who are yet to get the virus.”

At least one aged care facility has a significant number of COVID-19 cases amongst the staff and has reached out to the state government for support.

‘Most important symptom to look for is difficulty breathing’

Dr Gerrard said people with the virus should call an ambulance if they have significant difficulty breathing.

“If you’re just walking a short distance, or between rooms and your house and you find that you have to stop to take a breath like that after just walking between rooms in your house,” he said.

“Then you probably need to come to hospital.”

COVID-positive people with difficulty breathing should call an ambulance.
COVID-positive people with difficulty breathing should call an ambulance. (9News)

He suggested people with a runny nose or fever should not call Triple Zero as the health system begins to feel the pressure of surging cases.

Dr Gerrard said if you have symptoms such as “classic flulike symptoms, chills, soft, runny nose” you should assume you have COVID-19.

“We would like you to get tested with a PCR test or rapid antigen test if possible but if for whatever reason, you are finding that difficult, you should just assume that you have COVID-19 and isolate,” he added.

Checkpoints torn down

It comes as checkpoints on the Queensland border have been torn down overnight allowing free interstate travel for the first time in almost two years.

The border checkpoints blocking Queensland from the rest of Australia have been torn down.
The border checkpoints blocking Queensland from the rest of Australia have been torn down. (9News)

Anyone coming into Queensland, either by road or by air domestically, no longer needs to show a border pass or a rapid antigen test.

However, the government will maintain a mandate requiring people to be fully vaccinated to be able to enter events and venues.

Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard said yesterday there is a steady increase in the state’s hospitalisation.

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“There’s a steady increase of the number of patients in hospital, not an explosive increase,” he said.

Source: 9News

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