Qld, ACT reduces COVID contact tracing

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Queensland’s COVID-19 check-in app is no longer required for a range of venues, while Canberrans also no longer have to check in using QR codes for each venue they visit .

The change in Queensland comes as the number of coronavirus cases appears to have peaked in the south east.

“We are coming down from the top now, which is great news,” Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“Because we are coming off the peak, we can also announce today that people will no longer need to use the check-in app. I know this will be good news in many places in Queensland.

Queensland announced a further 19 virus-related deaths and 4,701 additional cases on Monday.

Registrations will be dropped for places such as supermarkets, shops, hairdressers and gyms. But they will still be used in places where proof of vaccination is required.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the app was an easy way to check vaccination status in places such as pubs, clubs and cafes.

The partial easing was “a huge step forward” for many businesses, Ms D’Ath said.

The number of hospitals continues to decline in Queensland. It has 663 positive cases in public hospitals, including 41 in intensive care.

Of the 19 deaths reported on Monday, all were over the age of 60 and 10 were elderly residents.

Only one had received a booster and nine were not vaccinated.

There have been a total of 151 deaths in aged care in Queensland since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, children in Queensland returned to classrooms on Monday as authorities warned an outbreak in schools was inevitable, but none were unlikely to be closed.

Face masks are compulsory in high schools in Queensland and strongly recommended for students in Years Three to Six. Schools must also ensure adequate ventilation of classrooms.

Just under 40% of children ages 5 to 11 in the state have received a dose of the vaccine.

Elsewhere, use of a check-in app is also reduced in Canberra.

Following an increase in COVID-19 cases in the nation’s capital and with less reliance on contact tracing, the ACT government said the Check-In CBR app will only be used in high-risk locations.

From Saturday, this means that check-ins with the app will only be required at bars and pubs, clubs, discos, strip clubs and brothels, and ticketless events. Schools will also be included.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said the changes were due to the evolving response to COVID-19 in the ACT.

“We are in a new phase of our response to the pandemic and the different use of the Check-In CBR app will support those most at risk of exposure, while reducing demands on other businesses, locations and customers. “, she said.

“These changes mean we are still able to monitor where our public health team deems there is a high risk of COVID-19 transmission.”

Businesses that are not on the list of high-risk locations will no longer be required to display a QR code for check-in at their entrance.

However, they will still be encouraged to post the codes for Canberrans who wanted to register the recordings.

“The app is currently being updated to enable automatic notification of users if they have been at higher risk through exposure to COVID-19,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“With the automated exposure notification feature, Check-In CBR will continue to be a vital tool in our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Over 1.3 million people have downloaded the ACT app since its release in September 2020.

– with the PAA

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