Lockdown in Canberra: Andrew Barr announces decision to extend lockdown | The Canberra Times

Lockdown in Canberra: Andrew Barr announces decision to extend lockdown |  The Canberra Times

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The ACT government appeared poised to extend the lockdown for Canberra ahead of a pivotal cabinet meeting on Monday afternoon to discuss the future of restrictions on the capital. Canberra’s lockdown ends on Thursday, but cases of the virus remain contagious in the community. Only two of the 12 cases reported in the ACT Monday were quarantined for their entire contagious period. Six were contagious in the community and the contagious status of four was investigated. Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he expected to make an announcement on Tuesday about a possible extension of the lockdown, following a cabinet briefing by the Chief Health Officer. Mr Barr said lockdown measures were effective in reducing the spread and the area would need ongoing public health measures after this week. “We don’t want all the hard work of the past few weeks to be wasted by opening too early,” he said. “Our lockdown measures are effective in reducing the spread of the virus, but it is worrying that we are still getting contagious cases in the community.” Throughout the outbreak, Mr. Barr has remained adamant that a string of no community cases — and no mystery cases — would be key to an easing of restrictions. “The Delta species is very, very challenging to grasp,” he said. “We still have people who are contagious in the community. We still have cases that don’t have a clear epidemiological link. This is worrying.” The sources of infection for 20 of the 261 cases in the area are under investigation, including six cases reported Monday. Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerryn Coleman said health authorities were still investigating whether the ACT had multiple releases of the virus from NSW, but that didn’t mean there were 20 different chains of transmission. “A few of those [20] cases are really just cases that have appeared where we’re not sure of connections,” said Dr. Coleman. “Some of them are well associated with these new clusters, but we don’t know what the source of introduction into those clusters was. There are now 12 people in the ACT with Covid in hospital, three are in intensive care and one is on a ventilator. Eleven of those in the hospital have not been vaccinated, while the other has only had one dose of the vaccine. Twenty-five people have recovered from the virus, with 2,262 tests being conducted on Sunday, Mr Barr said the number should be increased READ MORE COVID-19 NEWS: Two new cases of Covid have also been linked to the Ainslie Village social housing complex. Dr Coleman said the cases were identified Monday morning and would be included in Tuesday’s case numbers The complex was listed as an exposure site on Sunday after a positive Covid case visited the site while it was contagious. site at the complex.” we have made extensive planning in these places, this is a concern, but we have plans, we have a lot of people sen on the ground, we have a lot of involvement and we just continue to work with the communities and support them as much as possible,” Dr. Coleman said. It is the second social housing complex to be overtaken by the Canberra outbreak. Condamine Court was listed as an exposure site last week. Tenants at the Turner complex expressed frustration with government communications and the ACT Council of Social Services said tenants’ basic needs were being rejected. No further cases were associated with Condamine Court on Monday. Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this COVID-19 outbreak in the ACT and the lockdown is free to everyone. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you can, register here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our newsletters for regular updates. Our journalists work hard to provide local, current news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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