Navigating the Eighth COVID-19 Wave: Queensland Stays Resilient

As Queensland experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases, Chief Health Officer John Gerrard maintains a cautious stance on public mask-wearing. Despite the eighth wave sweeping across Australia, Gerrard emphasizes that the health department should balance conveying the risk with the reality of high vaccination rates and existing immunity. In this blog post, we delve into the current situation in Queensland, the importance of booster shots, and the proactive measures being taken.

Chief Health Officer John Gerrard discusses COVID-19 surge and booster shots in Queensland
Dr. John Gerrard emphasizes the importance of booster shots in navigating the eighth COVID-19 wave in Queensland

The COVID Landscape in Queensland

With 221 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Queensland, the majority being over 65, and two individuals in intensive care, the wave presents a challenge.

However, Dr. Gerrard reassures the public that, compared to the previous month, the severity of cases is milder. Remarkably, no deaths have been recorded since the wave’s onset four weeks ago, indicating a positive shift in the virus’s impact.

The Role of Booster Shots

Dr. Gerrard stresses the significance of booster shots, particularly for individuals aged 65 and above. He highlights that the average time between boosters for this demographic, especially those who have been hospitalized, is 15 months. “Our focus must be on those who are at the greatest risk,” he emphasizes. This underscores the importance of proactive vaccination measures to safeguard vulnerable populations.

A Data-Driven Perspective

Analyzing data from the past 30 days and comparing it to the period between December 2022 and January 2023, a notable increase in cases is evident. Hospitalizations during the earlier period averaged around 450 beds, significantly lower than the current scenario. Dr. Gerrard provides a nuanced perspective, noting that while there is a wave, its intensity is diminishing over time.

Mask Mandates: A Targeted Approach

In contrast to a blanket mask mandate, Dr. Gerrard suggests a targeted approach. He discourages a general mask mandate for the public but acknowledges that health facilities have the discretion to require visitors to wear masks.

He encourages individuals to make personal choices regarding mask-wearing, asserting their right to do so without intimidation. This aligns with the belief that personal freedom and responsible choices play a crucial role in managing the situation.

South Australia’s Response

As Queensland grapples with its wave, South Australia is also facing an uptick in infections. A 50% increase in cases within a week and a predominant Omicron variant, XBB, underscore the need for proactive measures.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier emphasizes the tools available to South Australians, including mask-wearing and avoiding contact with vulnerable individuals when infected.


In navigating the current wave, Queensland remains vigilant, balancing the severity of the situation with the progress made through vaccinations and immunity. The emphasis on booster shots, data-driven insights, and a targeted approach to mask mandates collectively contribute to a resilient response.

As individuals, understanding the nuanced strategies and making informed choices can play a pivotal role in curbing the impact of the eighth COVID-19 wave. Stay informed, stay safe.

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