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HEALTH ALERT | Air Quality Warning Extended

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young is issuing a formal, Statewide alert advising people to reduce their exposure to smoke over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Dr Young was joined by Minister Steven Miles for Monday's press conference, saying "Queensland Health has been monitoring smoke levels in Brisbane and Gold Coast areas and they have now reached the point where the Chief Health Officer intends to alert that all people should stay indoors if possible".  

An alert was issued on Sunday that recommended that 'vulnerable people' should stay indoors but "That alert now extends to the entire population" Minister Miles said.  

He added that "Schools have been alerted, workplaces are being urged, employers are being urged to consider their workforces and their Workplace Health and Safety obligations".  

Dr Young added, "Overnight we saw a deterioration in the quality of the air, particularly in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Ipswich".  

She said there are other parts of the state that have poor air quality but the air quality in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast and in Ipswich is at a level where I'm recommending, if you can stay indoors, that's what you should be doing.  

Dr Young recommended against physically exerting yourself outdoors, saying "This is not the time to go for a run".  

For those who are classified as 'vulnerable' they are also being urged to remain indoors and keep their medication handy.  

On Sunday, Queensland Health advised vulnerable communities to reduce their exposure and that advice is now being expanded to all people in smoke affected areas.

Everyone should minimise the amount of total time spent outdoors while these conditions remain.

Dr Young said  “Treat this seriously and don’t be complacent. Whether you’re in Logan or Lowood or anywhere in between—everyone needs to limit time spent outdoors while these conditions remain".  

“And If you have outdoor events planned this week, limit time outside or reschedule them. Nothing is worth compromising your health for.

“Queenslanders have a proud tradition in banding together in times of crisis, and I know you’ll do your bit and look out for vulnerable people in your community.

“In Brisbane, Ipswich and Gold Coast I’ve recommended the Department of Education consider cancelling outdoor activities and keep pupils indoors.

“Conditions aren’t expected to ease for at least a week, so we’re reminding people to take care.”

Minister Miles encouraged locals to stay inside.

“You only need to look outside to see what we’re in the middle of, and these conditions won’t clear any time soon,” Mr Miles said.

“Please, stay indoors, run your air conditioner on recirculate and postpone outdoor activities.

“If you don’t need to go outside for extended periods, don’t.

“Planning is crucial. That means having the right medication on hand and in plentiful supply.

“It also means looking out for each other, you might have an elderly neighbour or a new mum nearby – check on them, see if they need help.

“Of course, don’t go it alone, seek medical advice or ring Triple Zero (000) immediately if you’re experiencing any adverse reactions to the smoke, such as shortness of breath, prolonged coughing or wheezing.”

Live air data for Queensland is available through the Department of Environment and Science website 

By Michelle Brewer