25 September 2021

ACT Government opens new quarantine facility in O'Connor

| Lottie Twyford
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A new quarantine facility has been established in O’Connor. Photo: File.

The ACT Government has established a new dedicated quarantine facility in O’Connor for Canberrans identified as close contacts or positive cases who cannot stay at home for any reason.

Opened this week, the Ragusa Quarantine Facility has more than 130 cabins, a mix of one, two and three bedrooms, and options for larger families.

Unlike hotel quarantine, people will be able to go outside their rooms to enjoy a breath of fresh air.

According to ACT Health, it will be a personal choice to move to the facility, “where that is the safest and most comfortable option for their quarantine for the individual or individuals.”

This could include people who live in shared accommodation or high-rise apartments.

ACT Health said, “guests will be encouraged to stay for their whole quarantine period, but if guests find the facility is not suitable for them, [ACT Health] will work with them on other options for managing their quarantine period safely”.

There will be a security presence on site to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people staying there.

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Each cabin contains separate bedrooms, lounge rooms, kitchens and bathrooms to allow for self-care and self-catering.

The ACT Government has an initial three-month agreement with the facility’s usual operators, although Region Media understands this can be extended if necessary.

As with the ANU arrangements, quarantine at Ragusa will be available at no-cost.

ANU will also continue to be used as a quarantine facility.

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The ACT Government said the site has been selected due to its suitability as a quarantine facility during a public health emergency.

ACT Health has notified nearby residents in O’Connor of the establishment of the new site.

A welcome pack will be provided for each cabin, including some initial pantry needs, and guests will be able to arrange groceries and take-away as normal. Deliveries will be managed through the Information Hub to monitor access to the site.

Anyone needing food support will also have a range of options available. Quarantine activity packs and mental health and wellbeing information will also be provided.

The ACT Government has not released a budget for the quarantine facility.

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Tom Worthington2:34 pm 26 Sep 21

Excellent reuse of a tourist park. Located not too far from the city center, but in bush-land. It rates four out of five stars on Trip Advisor, so can’t be too bad. Other government should reuse some of their tourist parks this way and we can get everyone safe quicker.

Stephen Saunders12:40 pm 26 Sep 21

Thanks for the quick clarification, Riotact, some of us O’Connor locals were blindsided by the sudden requisition of our beloved pizza spot. I’m pleased it’s for local cases, not internationals.

Well done the ACT govt. I’ve been worried about stayoing at home if I get COVID as I live with someone who has a chronic illness. I’m glad someone is taking quarantine more seriously.

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