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Qld Covid cases at seven-week high amid fears of ‘super spreader’ rowing carnival

Concerns are rife a school rowing carnival may have become a Covid-19 superspreader event as Queensland’s daily case tally spikes to a seven-week high.

The Sunshine State reported 8881 new cases on Tuesday – its highest daily tally since February 2 – and nine more deaths from the virus.

The rise in cases comes as fears grow that the virus was spread at the Head of the River school rowing carnival at Wyaralong Dam at the weekend.

The event featured seven elite southeast schools – Brisbane Grammar, Brisbane Boys’ College, Gregory Terrace, The Southport School, Nudgee College, Brisbane State High, and Churchie – with reports that some competitors had tested positive.

Brisbane Grammar School on Tuesday was reportedly enforcing a mask mandate for all students and staff.

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Camera IconHealth Minister Yvette D’Ath reported 8881 new cases in Queensland on Tuesday, the state’s highest daily tally since February 2. Tara Croser Credit: News Corp Australia

Meanwhile, Education Minister Grace Grace told the ABC that last week there were about 14,000 students with the coronavirus – up from 9000 from the week before.

Ms Grace added that she had been working closely with Queensland Health to keep an eye on the figures.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath on Tuesday said the new BA.2 variant was becoming increasingly prominent while also noting the surge in cases showed that the virus was still very much a threat to the community.

Tuesday was the second straight day that case numbers had climbed in Queensland, having hovered between 3000 and 7000 new cases a day since early February.

The state’s highest daily case total of 23,630 came on January 14 at the peak of the Omicron wave.

South Australian school cancels senior classes

A Covid outbreak at a regional South Australian high school has forced the cancellation of year 11 and 12 classes.

Berri Regional Secondary College – nearly three hours northeast of Adelaide – on Monday announced that its senior students would be studying from home for three days in an attempt to snuff out the virus.

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Camera IconSouth Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas has warned that that the state’s Covid infections could exceed January’s peak. NCA NewsWire / Kelly Barnes Credit: News Corp Australia

Students from years 7 to 10 would be attending class as normal.

Newly installed South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas on Tuesday warned that the state’s Covid infections could exceed January’s peak and rise above 8000 in the coming weeks.

Mr Malinauskas said new modelling – which he alleged the former government had been in possession of “for some time” – suggested hospitalisations could exceed 200 patients.

He also alleged a ban on some elective surgeries in public hospitals had been imposed on the eve of the weekend’s election but not announced.

SA Health said no announcement was made because government was in caretaker mode.

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