COVID-19 hospitalisations in Queensland are not likely to peak for another month, with the latest modelling projecting a maximum caseload of about 1660 in late August.
The estimate represents an increase of close to 600 on existing hospital numbers, which are sitting at slightly more than 1000.
A total of 1170 patients are being treated across public and private health systems for COVID-19 or the flu.
Another 21 people died with COVID-19 in the state's most recent 24-hour reporting period, with 8612 new cases reported and about 66,000 active infections.
The Queensland government says it is preparing by making extra hospital beds available and scaling up ambulance co-ordination efforts.
More health staff are being moved to the front line, with virtual care systems introduced in an effort to reduce strain on emergency departments.
"When we are faced with the worst, Queenslanders always step up," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tweeted on Tuesday.
"It's time to come together again and fight; get vaccinated, use a mask in crowds and indoors, and stay home if you're sick."
Doctors have already reported the current wave as the worst to date as sickness and worker fatigue aggravate staff shortages.
Many waiting rooms, emergency beds and wards were at capacity, and ambulance ramping remains an ongoing issue, the Australian Medical Association Queensland's Kim Hansen says.
"This is the toughest (wave) yet," she told ABC radio Brisbane last week.
"The numbers are pretty huge and we've got influenza on top of that."