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New case numbers, students return to school after two week delay

Queensland school students are heading back to the classroom today after Term One was delayed by two weeks.

Masks will be for all high-school students and is highly recommended for students in Year Three and above in primary school.

But unlike in New South Wales, at-home rapid antigen testing for students won’t be compulsory.

Rear view of excited students running towards entrance.  Girls are carrying backpacks while leaving from school.  Happy friends are wearing school uniforms.
Students are returning to the classroom in Queensland from today. (Getty)

Instead, students will be given one to take home if they start to show symptoms.

Premier Annastacia Palasczuk has repeatedly said there had been no advice from Queensland health authorities or the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee that mass surveillance testing of students was necessary.

The start of the school year was delayed in Queensland to allow parents to get their kids vaccinated, as well as to avoid the peak of the Omicron wave.

While the latter goal has been achieved, with hospitalizations beginning to decline, there has been a low take-up on vaccines in the intervening period.

Just 39 per cent of five- to 11-year-olds have had their first jab, leaving Queensland with the second-lowest uptake proportion in the country for that age group.

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How Australia faced the emergence of the Omicron variant

It has been revealed 200 aged care centers in Queensland are battling COVID-19 outbreaks, as the sector pleads for help from the federal government.

Health authorities say a lot of the deaths are occurring in aged care to residents not yet receiving their booster shot.

The sector is now ramping up calls they made over the weekend to bring in Defense personnel to help with the booster rollout.

Queensland is not alone in the struggle, with 1200 outbreaks in aged care centers nationwide.

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