Government braces as Canberrans undergo long weekend COVID test | The Canberra Times

Government braces as Canberrans undergo long weekend COVID test |  The Canberra Times

news, act-politics, rachel stephen-smith, act, covid-19, covid, lockdown, act health

Health authorities in the ACT are bracing for the coming week after the first weekend of partially relaxed lockdown rules, NRL big closing celebrations and community fatigue over the COVID-19 pandemic. The total number of cases from the current outbreak is likely to exceed 1,000 on Monday, with 38 new cases reported on Sunday and the record high of 52 cases in the previous two days. There are also 15 new cases in the Queanbeyan region – four in Googong, six in Queanbeyan, three in Karabar and two in Crestwood. While the ACT figure is a drop from the previous day, it’s seen as an increase because “it’s still higher than what we’ve seen for most of this outbreak,” Health Secretary Rachel Stephen-Smith said. . “I suspect what we’ve seen is a step up in our kind of plateau, if you will, but it’s really too early to say for sure what that is,” Ms Stephen-Smith said. In a preview of the COVID projections and the response to come – and with the number of cases rising in the Queanbeyan region – Ms Stephen Smith said the area was “at a point where we really need to think about the context of the whole region as well, especially when it comes to the impact on our health system.” ACT chief Andrew Barr warned on Saturday of a “serious crisis” in Canberra’s hospital system if Commonwealth funding were not to increase in the future. There have been 977 cases so far in the ACT’s current Delta wave. 632 people have recovered, leaving 342 active cases. Fourteen people are currently in hospital, five in the ICU and three on a ventilator. ACT vaccination coverage is high and leading in the country, but ACT chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said relative safety in the community is associated with “really high levels” of effective double-dose vaccination. More than 90 percent of the ACT population aged 12 years and older is now vaccinated with one dose, while the 70 percent full dose figure is close to being reached. dr. Coleman — who is expected to provide a comprehensive update on the outbreak on Tuesday — indicated that community transmission of the ACT is moving to a new important stage. “I don’t think we’ll get below 20.” [cases pre day]she said. “I think we’re going to be looking at least 30, 40, 50 years ahead. Coverage, it’s still a concern at this point.” This long weekend was the first few days of somewhat relaxed lockdown rules, allowing up to two people to visit another household, as well as the staging of the NRL grand final in Brisbane – usually a major social event in Canberra. Superspreading has taken place between states through social gatherings, most recently with the AFL Grand Finals, and there are warnings that something similar could happen in the ACT. “Indeed, we are aware that within the ACT, smaller groups – smaller gatherings that are perfectly legal – have resulted in transference,” Ms Stephen-Smith said. “Don’t think this can’t happen to you — it’s right across the community right now, there’s the potential for community transmission. So please, please adhere to public health guidelines.” The new cases have largely This concerns close contacts of essential workers and household contacts, but health officials remain concerned about the number of people who are contagious in the community. READ MORE: Fourteen were quarantined during their entire contagious period and at least 16 were contagious in the community. new cases are linked to current exposure sites, while 14 are under investigation at an early stage. COVID “fatigue” and general non-compliance with lockdown continues. Health minister said 20 people were ordered to leave the ACT on Saturday , calling it “disappointing” when people chose to break the rules.” I know everyone wants to hug their relatives and kiss each other and we are all deprived of that physical contact during this time,” said Ms Stephen-Smith. “But wait a little longer, please, if you can do that. If not, you know, be careful and careful.’ dr. Coleman continues to push for COVID testing, even for those people who are fully vaccinated, to help others. “There are still members of our community, including some vulnerable members such as children who have not yet been vaccinated and may be eligible for a while,” she said. Vaccination efforts against COVID-19 for diverse and at-risk communities have stepped up in recent days, including at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders’ clinics now operating in North and South Canberra. 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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