An additional three hospitals in Queensland will now be able to complete viral testing for COVID-19.
The state’s Health Minister Steven Miles has announced the Toowoomba Hospital, Rockhampton Hospital and the Sunshine Coast University Hospital will have the capability to complete coronavirus tests.
This increases the number of testing hospitals in the state to seven, with another three to be implemented.
The announcement comes as the number of confirmed cases reached 94.
Despite the rise in cases, the health minister urged Queenslanders to stay calm during his speech in parliament on Wednesday.
“Right now panic and fear are more dangerous than the virus itself,” Mr Miles said.
“To get scared you only have to open Facebook.”
State schools will remain open despite the premier telling parliament the COVID-19 crisis was going to last for at least six months.
There is growing concern the outbreak could be worse if schools aren’t closed, but the premier and education minister told parliament they would not be shut down.
“The advice tells us this virus operates differently in children. We cannot disrupt schools for what would be six months,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
James Cook University on Wednesday night announced it would pause on-campus teaching for a week from Monday, so lecturers could fast-track the development of online courses and the university could introduce social distancing measures.
But JCU in a statement said it would remain open, subject to any direction from government.
Griffith University, meanwhile, will suspend all classes with over 100 people from Thursday.
In an update posted to its website, the university said it would deliver the classes via remote or online learning where possible.
Griffith’s non-core teaching, learning and research events involving more than 20 people will also be cancelled or postponed.
Queensland supermarkets will soon be able to restock 24-hours a day to keep food on the shelves, with the state government fast-tracking new laws in the midst of panic buying.
Current restrictions prevent some stores from restocking and operating their loading docks outside of business hours.
The changes will come into effect in days and allow them to operate 24-hours a day if needed.