COVID-19

COVID-19 latest updates

Queensland Government COVID-19 updates

For up-to-date information follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Updates will be posted on this blog as we receive them.

Read the latest Queensland Government COVID-19 updates.

The latest information is available in a range of languages here.


23 May 2022

Stakeholder kit on winter planning and preparedness

The Commonwealth Department of Social Services has prepared a stakeholder kit on winter planning.

The stakeholder kit is designed to help support people with disability plan for the upcoming winter season, while managing COVID-19.

The kit contains key messages, and links to materials and websites with comprehensive information on topics such as:

  • COVID-19 outbreak management
  • personal protective equipment
  • mental health
  • booster requirements for disability workers
  • assistance with booking a vaccination
  • ‘myth busting’ pages on the Australian Department of Health’s website
  • communication materials for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

A COVID-19 winter booster dose (a fourth dose of vaccine) is recommend for some groups of people at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including:

  • Adults aged 65 years and older
  • Residents of disability or aged care facilities
  • People aged 16 years and older who are severely immunocompromised
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older.

You can find out more about the COVID-19 winter booster dose on the Australian COVID-19 winter booster dose webpage.

20 May 2022

Webinar: COVID-19 treatments and winter preparedness for people with disability

The Commonwealth Department of Health recently hosted a webinar on COVID-19 treatments and winter preparedness for people with disability. The expert panel addressed:

  • access to COVID-19 oral treatments
  • discussing oral treatments with your GP while you are well
  • COVID-19 vaccine winter doses,
  • influenza vaccination, and
  • COVID-19 emergency planning.

A recording of the webinar can be accessed here. Auslan translation and captions are available for this webinar.

COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test communications pack

The Department of Health has developed downloadable, translated resources and information about rapid antigen tests (RAT) in Australia.

In-language communication resources have been developed with information about rapid antigen tests including: where to get rapid antigen tests, how to use a nasal rapid antigen test, understanding rapid antigen test results, and what to do if a rapid antigen test result is positive.

9 May 2022

Changes to Isolation Requirements for Close Contacts

The Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 7) has been updated to remove quarantine requirements for non-symptomatic close contacts.

While a person is a close contact they must

  • wear a face mask at all times when outside the home
  • not visit vulnerable or high-risk settings such as hospitals, aged care and disability facilities, unless in exceptional or compassionate circumstances
  • test for COVID-19 if they develop symptoms. It is also recommended that they undertake regular testing if they are leaving home (e.g. on day 0, 2, 4 and 6).

The Direction also:

  • allows operators at vulnerable or high-risk settings to approve entry of diagnosed cases and close contacts in exceptional and compassionate circumstances, where conditions in the direction are met
  • includes students as workers at vulnerable facilities for the purpose of close contact restrictions.

Close contact workers at a vulnerable facilities

A close contact who is an employee at a vulnerable facility (an aged care or disability residential facility or hospital) may continue to work at a vulnerable facility provided they:

  • remain free of COVID-19 symptoms and are not required to quarantine; and
  • comply with the vaccination requirements that apply to them as an employee of the vulnerable facility; and
  • advise the operator of their close contact status as soon as possible so that the operator can take additional protective measures; and
  • wear a surgical mask or comply with any greater PPE requirements of the vulnerable facility while at work; and
  • undertake a COVID-19 test and receive a negative test result on the day of their first shift and every second day thereafter until Day 6.

A worker who becomes symptomatic must stay at home and follow the requirements for a symptomatic close contact.

Workers previously able to leave quarantine to work under the critically essential worker exemption are able to work without the need to use private transport by following the steps for close contacts.

Requirements of employers of critical industries are removed. Employers are no longer required to provide a critical worker list to Queensland Health.

Other workers including home care workers

From 6:00pm AEST Thursday 28 April 2022, there are no quarantine requirements for close contacts provided they:

Symptomatic People

Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms must stay at home until symptoms resolve and test for COVID-19 as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms. If the test is negative but symptoms persist or worsen, the person should seek medical advice.

International Arrivals

The Requirements for International Arrivals Direction has also been updated. Changes include removing the requirement for unvaccinated international arrivals to quarantine and restricting international arrivals from visiting vulnerable settings for 7 days, regardless of vaccination status.

4 May 2022

CALD: Latest Australian Government Department of Health resources

Getting children vaccinated

In-language videos of parents talking about COVID-19 vaccinations for their children In these videos, parents talk about why they chose to vaccinate their children against COVID-19. The videos are available in Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Mandarin and Punjabi.

Factsheet: Winter vaccine doses

This fact sheet provides information about who is eligible for a COVID-19 winter dose and why it’s important.

Factsheets: How to use a rapid antigen test (RAT) and correctly read the result

3 May 2022

Changes to multiple directions

In the past month (April 2022), the following Public Health Directions were issued.

Find out more.

29 April 2022

COVID-19 emergency applicable event period extended

The COVID-19 emergency applicable event period has been extended to 24 June 2022. This has the effect that:

  • the declared use notice for a shop, warehouse and transport depot will continue to have effect until 24 June 2022
  • applications may continue to be made for a temporary use licence (TUL)
  • any TULs issued to date will also remain valid until the 24 June 2022 unless there is a condition stating otherwise.

A copy of the extension notice can be found here. The Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning will be writing to all Temporary Use Licence holders advising them that the licence will expire on 24 June 2022.

Find out more about Applicable event declarations.

26 April 2022

Upcoming changes to quarantine requirement for close contacts

From 6:00pm on Thursday, 28 April 2022, there will be no quarantine requirements for close contacts as long as they:

  • do not have COVID-19 symptoms
  • test negative every second day for a week from the day of becoming a close contact (day 0, 2, 4 and 6)
  • wear a mask outside of home for 7 days
  • do not visit any vulnerable settings (hospitals, residential aged care facilities, disability accommodation services, corrective services facilities and detention centres) for 7 days
  • let their employer know they are a close contact, and work from home if possible.

Until that time, conditions remain as-is.

19 April 2022

CALD: March Commonwealth Multicultural Information Pack

This pack contains in-language communication resources with information about the following topics:

  • Doctors talking about COVID vaccines for children.
  • Moderna now available for children – posters.
  • Information about oral COVID treatments.
  • Approval of the Nuvaxovid (Novavax) COVID-19 vaccine.
  • What to do if you get COVID-19 and where to get support.

Download the information pack.

Long COVID’ Factsheet: Queensland Health CALD resource in Plain-English

Information to help recognise the difference between normal COVID recovery and long-COVID.

Easy to follow Rapid Antigen Test instructions:

‘Five things to do to fight the flu’ Poster – Translated in Chinese (simplified), Japanese, Vietnamese, Khmer, Amharic, Burmese, Croatian, Dari, Dinka, French, Karen, Samoan, Spanish, Swahili, Thai and Tagalog here.

You can find a full collection of Queensland Health’s resources for CALD communities via the online Asset Library, including videos, posters and fact sheets.

Disability Accommodation Residents – Second Booster

The process for disability accommodation providers to request in-reach for their second booster dose has changed. Providers are required to submit an expression of interest to the Department of Health for Commonwealth in-reach support, where this is the most appropriate vaccination service. A link to the Expression of interest form is here.

Providers only need to submit one form to request in-reach for multiple residential disability accommodation settings. More information on the winter dose, vaccination options, and the in-reach program for people with disability are available on the Department of Health’s website.

5 April 2022

Vaccine mandates ending from 14 April

As of 1:00am on Thursday, 14 April, most venues that have been open only to vaccinated staff and patrons will be open to all.

The venues include:

  • Pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants
  • Theme parks, casinos and cinemas
  • Weddings
  • Showgrounds
  • Galleries, libraries, museums and stadiums

The requirement for vaccinations will still apply to in vulnerable settings including:

  • Hospitals
  • Aged and disability care
  • Prisons
  • Schools and early childhood centres

Find out more.

Disability Accommodation Residents – Second Booster

The process for disability accommodation providers to request in-reach for their second booster dose has changed. Providers are required to submit an expression of interest to the Department of Health for Commonwealth in-reach support, where this is the most appropriate vaccination service. A link to the Expression of interest form is here.

Providers only need to submit one form to request in-reach for multiple residential disability accommodation settings. More information on the winter dose, vaccination options, and the in-reach program for people with disability are available on the Department of Health’s website.

Disability: Queensland Health web updates

The Queensland Health website providing COVID-19 information to people with disability has been updated, including a number of new video resources:

4 April 2022

COVID-19 pop-up vaccination clinics to open over school holidays

Vaccinations are vital when it comes to protecting our children along with their parents and grandparents. More than 50 pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be open over the school holidays to provide easy access to the vaccine for families.

To find your nearest vaccination clinic, visit the Queensland Health website. The COVID-19 vaccine is also available at participating GPs and pharmacies. For more information, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder.

28 March 2022

Further changes to close contact management

The Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.6) will shortly be updated to:

  • provide exceptions for the post isolation and post quarantine face mask requirements, for children under 12 years of age, for medical reasons, in emergency situations or where otherwise required by law;
  • provide an exception to the post-isolation restrictions on entry to a vulnerable and high risk setting if the person is entering the setting in the performance of an official duty as an emergency services responder, and complies with face mask and other PPE requirements of the setting;
  • remove Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander discrete communities from the vulnerable and high risk settings that have restricted access during the 7 day post isolation and post quarantine periods, to remove any limits on these communities;
  • increase the period of 4 weeks to 12 weeks for a person to be a cleared case, after their isolation period as a diagnosed person ends;
  • align the terminology for vaccination requirements for critically essential workers with the current ATAGI ‘up to date’ approach to vaccination status, without changing the existing requirement for close contacts to have had a booster dose where recommended by ATAGI.
    • The updated Direction can be accessed via this link once available.

Disability provider alert

The Commonwealth Department of Health has issued its next COVID-19 vaccination – Disability provider alert 25 March 2022.

Please note:

  • ATAGI has recommended an additional COVID-19 dose for disability accommodation service residents 4 months after their initial booster dose, not including workers.
  • The Commonwealth will offer in-reach vaccination for those services unable to access through primary care.

25 March 2022

Disability Gateway assisting people to get vaccinated

The Disability Gateway has information and services to help people with disability, their family, friends and carers, to find the support they need across Australia. If you need support to book your COVID-19 vaccination or booster, the Disability Gateway can help.

Support includes:

  • help with booking your vaccination appointment
  • information and support on getting tested
  • applying for COVID-19 financial support
  • COVID-19 information in accessible formats such as Easy Read or Auslan.

You can call the Disability Gateway on 1800 643 787 or visit the Disability Gateway website and access online support and information.

New resources: For people with disability and support workers

Videos:

New Easy Read factsheets:

Factsheet: COVID-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) (for disability support workers)

17 March 2022

Mandating booster vaccination for disability support workers

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has advised three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are required to be up to date in order to provide protection against both infection and severe disease.

For people aged 16 years and older, this means a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose following primary COVID-19 vaccination (usually 2 doses). It is important that people with disability receiving support services and support from disability support workers are protected from the devastating effects of COVID-19. Read the ATAGI guidance.

Aged care

From 31 March 2022, workers at residential aged care facilities must have received a booster COVID-19 vaccination if eligible for it and continue to receive booster doses as recommended. Keep up to date with the latest guidance from Queensland Health.

Make the choice: Where can I get my child vaccinated?

You can now get your children aged 5 or older vaccinated at most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services. For help booking an appointment call 134 COVID (13 42 68), or find a local clinic.

Mob Link: Keeping connected with mob during COVID

Mob Link is an initiative of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in South-East Queensland by linking them with health and social services.

By calling 1800 254 354, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across South East Queensland can access a variety of COVID related services and support, plus a wide range of other health and social services.

The Mob Link app (Apple and Android) also provides a wide range of information and resources designed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders during times of hardship caused by the pandemic, including: information about where to get vaccinated, how to book a community yarn about COVID, who to contact with questions, and connections to services and support for those affected by COVID-19.

14 March 2022

New translated resources

Queensland Health has developed a number of new COVID-19 translated resources, including:

  • Factsheets – Covering how you can get medical care for COVID-19, what to do if you test positive, and advice for close contacts.
  • Social media tiles – Promoting vaccination for children 5-11 and boosters, and a factsheet with basic steps on how to complete a nasal Rapid Antigen Test.

CALD COVID-19 Health Engagement Project (CCHEP) resources:

  • Video – How to do a nasal Rapid Antigen Test
  • Videos – Living with COVID-19 in Queensland (including videos in Amharic, Tigrinya, English, Arabic, Dari and Mandarin)

Updates to multiple directions

Queensland Health is continuing to actively respond to the declared public health emergency in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).

From 12 March 2022, updates were made to the following Directions:

Residential Aged Care Visitor Direction and Disability Accommodation Services Visitor Direction:

  • remove references to ‘restricted areas’
  • remove references to ‘Movement and Gathering Direction’
  • change the focus of the directions to visitor entry requirements (existing vaccination requirements and status, medical contraindication and exemptions) and move requirements relating to workers into the Workers in a healthcare setting Direction
  • include a ‘visitor’ definition
  • allow operators to implement additional local restrictions if necessary due to an outbreak at the facility.

Workers in Healthcare Setting (COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements) Direction (No.4):

  • include the COVID-19 vaccination requirements for workers in residential aged care, including the new requirement of an up-to-date vaccination status
  • amend the critical support needs provision to reflect testing of a worker every second day instead of every day
  • incorporate worker vaccination and other requirements which previously sat within the vulnerable facilities directions.

Hospital Entry Visitor Direction:

  • remove obsolete references to ‘restricted’ and ‘unrestricted’ hospital
  • allows a second support person as a visitor to an antenatal clinic, in exceptional circumstances
  • simplify the direction to apply to visitors, students and volunteers who are not engaged by the hospital
  • move restrictions for workers and contractors, to the Workers in a healthcare setting Direction.

More information about Queensland’s Public Health Directions, including questions and answers can be found on the Queensland Health website.

Vaccination

3 March 2022

Novavax approved for use as a booster

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended the use of the Novavax vaccine as a booster in Australians aged 18 and over where an mRNA vaccine is not suitable.

Novavax is the first protein-based COVID-19 vaccine to be provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

It has been proven safe and effective in protecting against severe illness or death associated with COVID-19 infection, with clinical trial data showing a robust immune response providing around 90 per cent protection from infection.

Protein vaccines use a non-infectious protein component of the virus manufactured in a laboratory. After vaccination, immune cells recognise the vaccine protein as foreign and launch an immune response against it.

Find out more.

Mask mandates changing

From 6:00pm Friday, 4 March 2022:

  • Masks will no longer be required indoors, except in healthcare settings, residential aged care, disability accommodation, prisons, public transport, taxis and rideshare, airports and on planes
  • Masks will no longer be required in schools, including for staff, students and visitors
  • Masks will still be recommended whenever you can’t social distance
  • There will be no limit on the number of visitors you can have in your home at one time
  • Venues and events will no longer have capacity limits.

Find out more about the changes.


Other Queensland-specific updates

COVID-19 and the Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF)

Organisations may be experiencing challenges meeting HSQF timeframes as a result of COVID-19 impacts. The HSQF team supports flexibility where possible. Visit the website for more information.

Australian Government updates

Find links to the latest essential information on the Australian Government website and information about the economic response to the Coronavirus.

Disability Provider Updates

The latest Commonwealth Department of Health Disability Provider Alerts can be accessed here.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

Scammers are using the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) to take advantage of people across Australia. This ACCC page details the current scams and what to watch out for.

QCOSS updates

As the peak body for social services in Queensland, QCOSS is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of every person, in every community in Queensland. As community services focus on how we continue to provide essential service to support people and communities during this crisis QCOSS will keep you up to date with what is happening in the sector.

Related Updates

See All
13YARN crisis support line
Free Flu Jabs for Every Queenslander
Webinar: Bringing volunteers back safely