Premier to ‘smash’ virus as Easter case total revealed
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has declared she will "smash" coronavirus in Queensland but warned against complacency towards current movement restrictions as the curve continues to flatten.
Queensland Health recorded 11 positive cases of COVID-19 overnight, totalling 35 for the Easter long weekend.
"We are really going well with flattening that curve and like I said let's smash it," Ms Palaszczuk told Nine Network's Today.
The Premier warned against complacency and calls to ease restrictions on movement and social gatherings in the coming weeks.
Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in QLD
"I don't think people can feel complacent that just because we've had low numbers that that's the end of it, because what we are doing is we are flattening the curve," she said.
"If you lift too early, of course, you see what has happened in other countries where those high rates of infection are causing their hospital systems to reach full capacity and we don't want to see that happening in Australia."
Ms Palaszczuk said the government is waiting on modelling for Queensland around how best to ease restrictions into the future.
"We've got to get the balance right," she said.
"I think we are in a unique position here because now we can actually see some of those European countries lift restrictions after going through those high spikes and I think we can get a gauge on how that is working. The World Health Organisation just said this morning too that it's very important how you ease those restrictions.
"Everyone is doing a great job but we've only just gone into staying at home and social distancing, it's only been working for two or three weeks, this is a long haul, this is a marathon."
It comes as several thousand sim cards will be issued to Queensland students who are unable to access the internet to learn remotely while coronavirus restrictions are in place.
Queensland schools will switch to remote learning but remain open for vulnerable students and children of essential workers when the second term begins on Monday.
Education Minister Grace Grace said they were working with Telstra to provide 5000 sim cards that would grant internet access for stay-at-home students. She acknowledged that it will be testing times for parents who will supervise their children at home.
"We're going to ensure as much as we can that students have the availability to have devices either from schools or to be able to have them lent or borrowed to them," Ms Grace said.
"Parents, of course, have a new role and we know it's not going to be easy." Staff at schools and childcare centres are now on the list of those who can be tested for COVID-19.
Teachers will be required at public schools when the second term starts again on Monday and remote learning will be in place until May 22.
Ms Palaszczuk says, on the advice of the chief health officer, that it is safe for staff to return to work and students to attend school.
"By May 15, we will once again let people know definitely which way to go," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"Teachers will be going to school, just as the teacher aides and the cleaners, and everybody else who makes up that school community." Ms Palaszczuk said "we are in extraordinary times" and she believed many would be comfortable with the decision to open schools, with the measures also applying to kindergartens.
Just 35 new cases were recorded from Good Friday to Easter Monday, taking the total number of Queensland positive COVID-19 tests to 987 of which 442 have recovered.
Although the daily rate of positive tests has now been reduced to single figures, public gathering restrictions will remain in place. A rescue flight of Australians from the Peruvian capital Lima is expected to arrive in Brisbane on Tuesday.
Originally published as Premier to 'smash' virus as Easter case total revealed