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Covid finally catches up with its arch enemy as Governor Jeannette Young tests positive

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Queensland Governor Jeannette Young, who was a the forefront of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic during her time as chief health officer, has tested positive to the virus.

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“The Governor has tested positive for COVID-19,” a statement on her official Twitter account said.

“Her Excellency has mild symptoms. She is isolating at Government House.

“Her Excellency will conduct her constitutional duties virtually and the rest of her program will be rescheduled.”

Pandemic leave payments have ended ahead of an expected surge of COVID-19 cases but infected people must still follow directions to isolate at home for a week, federal Health Minister Mark Butler says.

Butler said the federal government did not have the financial capacity to continue funding what were intended as emergency payments, which came to an end on June 30.

“We’re going to have to start to moving towards more normal programs that support the Australian community and people have been on notice about that for some time,” he told ABC radio on Friday.

Asked if people without sick leave would go to work with Covid if they didn’t have access to the government support measure, Mr Butler said he “hoped not”.

“We can’t continue forever to fund from the budget the gaps in the labour market that exist,” he said.

Yet the minister warned health authorities are expecting a third wave of Omicron cases and reinfections are likely due to a new variant.

Australians must get their boosters as soon as possible to protect themselves, he said.

“Even if you caught Covid in that big summer wave, where millions of Australians caught (it), if you’ve only had two doses … you are potentially susceptible to infection over coming months,” he said.

Butler was due to meet with state and territory health ministers on Friday, where managing the coronavirus will be high on the agenda.

Ministers will talk about ways for more vulnerable people with Covid to get access to antiviral drugs.

Butler said it was important to expand the use of the antivirals to help manage the pandemic.

“We’re getting feedback from pharmacists, GPs and patients alike (and) I don’t think that there’s a great level of awareness about these treatments out in the community,” he said.

“You have to have a plan for when you get notified of a positive Covid test so that you can contact your GP quickly (and) get a script for these antivirals.”

-with AAP

 

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