Premier Announces New School Term Start Date As State Records 18,000 Cases
State prepares to hit Covid "peak"
Queensland has recorded 18,000 new Covid cases overnight with 4,320 of these from self-reported rapid antigen tests.
There are currently 402 people hospitalised with the virus, 22 people in ICU and five people on ventilators.
This brings the total number of active cases across Queensland to 80,563.
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As Covid case numbers continue to rise, so too does the state’s vaccination rate with 91.1 percent vaccinated with their first dose and 87.67 percent fully vaccinated.
While Covid case numbers climb to record heights, Queensland students are preparing to return to school with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcing changes to start dates.
The announcement comes as millions of Australian kids between the ages of five and 11 become eligible to receive their vaccinations from tomorrow, with an eight week wait between jabs forcing students to return to school with only one jab.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed that the likely peak for Omicron cases in Queensland will be late January when children were initially scheduled to head back to school.
"Queensland is expected to reach peak during the last week of January and the first week of February,"
- Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
In an attempt to protect school students as they wait to receive the necessary vaccinations, the state government have made the decision to push term one start dates from January 24 to February 7, while senior students will begin remote studies from January 31.
This has resulted in a change to term dates at the end of the year with the 2022 school year now expected to wrap up on December 16 instead of December 9.
Education Minister Grace Grace said the changes were carefully considered by the government to ensure parents are not worrying about “snap closures” due to a lack of staffing.
“We believe this is the best way going forward to give those parents at least the certainty that they need so they can make arrangements,” she said.
"We're hoping that staffing will be at enough numbers that we can provide that supervision for children of essential workers and obviously vulnerable children."
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