8 August 2022

ACT records 102nd COVID-19 death, 509 cases; public health emergency extended again

| Lottie Twyford
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Dr Kerryn Coleman

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman had recommended a 60-day extension to the Public Health Emergency Declaration. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

A man in his 70s has died with COVID-19 overnight, taking the Territory’s total pandemic death toll to 102.

It comes as the ACT recorded 509 (299 PCR and 210 RAT) cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8 pm yesterday and the government extended the public health emergency declaration until the end of September.

Authorities say that extension is necessary because the Territory’s COVID-19 epidemiological situation remains “uncertain”.

Previously, that declaration – which gives the Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman additional powers – had been scheduled to end on 11 August.

There had been some hope the new pandemic management laws would come into effect following the August deadline, but this has not eventuated.

Rachel Stephen-Smith

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith is confident the ACT will be able to step down from a public health emergency at the end of September. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said it was good news that cases are now averaging less than 1000 a day, but there was still a risk to some community members.

Dr Coleman had recommended a 60-day extension of the public health emergency; however, the government did not enact this in full.

Ms Stephen-Smith is “confident” that following the end of September, the ACT will be in a “strong position” to step down to the management framework.

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Those COVID-19-specific laws have been touted as providing greater human rights protections and better oversight than what’s allowed for under the emergency legislation.

The management laws passed the ACT Legislative Assembly in June following a committee process. The bill attracted record submissions in opposition to it, but they were received from people who lived interstate or overseas or could not have an ACT residential address verified.

A public health emergency has now been continuously in force since it was first declared on 16 March 2020 for five days.

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Ms Stephen-Smith stressed it was still important for Canberrans to continue practising COVID-Smart behaviours.

“This includes getting tested and staying home when you are sick, being up to date with your vaccinations, wearing a mask indoors where you can’t physically distance, and maintaining good hand hygiene,” she said.

“For people at higher risk of poor outcomes, we’d also encourage them to have a discussion with their health care provider about eligibility for COVID-19 treatments so they are well prepared if they get COVID-19.”

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Local active infections continue to decline. There are now 3795 known cases and a total of 195,621 COVID-19 cases have been recorded since the pandemic began.

Yesterday, the ACT reported 415 cases and there were 140 people in hospital.

There are now 144 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, including five in ICU and one requiring ventilation.

ACT Health is now providing weekly vaccination updates.

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Interstate, NSW has reported four deaths overnight and 7648 new cases of COVID-19.

There are now 2236 people in hospital with the virus and 59 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported one death overnight and 4911 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 657 people hospitalised with the virus and 39 patients are in the state’s intensive care units.

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SigmaOctantis6:11 pm 08 Aug 22

It’s done. It’s over. Move on. Alas the risk averse nanny state public servants will never be happy to move on.

It would appears that people with real medical degrees, disagree with you!

SigmaOctantis2:58 am 09 Aug 22

As no one else in Canberra has a degree right?

Maybe that’s part of the problem; people with Arts Degrees who think they are qualified to comment on issues outside their expertise.

Last night on the news, there were predictions that Covid could be the 3rd largest killer of Australians, this year. So far, we have lost 12,000 since the beginning of the pandemic and yes, nearly all of them since the milder, but more infectious variants have emerged.

So mask up. It might be inconvenient, but if people just did it, there could be a few less families lose a loved one.

CaptainSpiff10:16 am 09 Aug 22

@kenbehrens 2 years of failed predictions and destructive advice have not managed to shake your faith in the “experts”?

By the way, weren’t we supposed to be seeing upwards of 3000 cases a day now?

@kenbehrens, people with left wing views are more likely to be unemployed and have Arts degrees. The mortality statistics are only that high because the so called medical experts can’t distinguish between dying with COVID and dying of COVID. Died of a terminal illness yet you tested positive with the last 28 days will get you in the statistics.

And no, don’t tell others they need to mask up. Imagine me telling women they need to put a mask on their face, the left wing will be all up in arms about inhibiting the freedoms and choices of women!

Old mate asked me how long did the Spanish flu last for, i replied” 100 years we just call it the flu or influenza ” covid isn’t going away anytime soon it’s here for good we can’t escape it just learn to live with it, as for covid neurotics getting over it how about we ask the 140 or so people in Canberra hospital or the families of the 12000 dead people if they are over it, I’m glad and feel grateful that the actions of our state and federal governments have prevented the predicted 3000 cases a day, I just wish the weather man could be so accurate with his predictions. I also like to take my medical advice from people with medical degrees, maybe Sam Oak was right a sugar tax to fight childhood obesity, something that is within our control

Weirdly, S Oak wrote: “Imagine me telling women they need to put a mask on their face, the left wing will be all up in arms about inhibiting the freedoms and choices of women!“

Regardless of whether I can imagine you doing that, why would any sane person object if there were a sound medical reason, or request it if there were no sound reason?

As pointed out by various people previously, death certificates are completed to published national and international standards by medically competent people, which excludes you.

The pandemic is over when the public servants are told to go back into work lol.

CaptainSpiff1:43 pm 08 Aug 22

Whoever heard of an emergency, motivated by a situation being “uncertain”? Good grief. When will the Covid neurotics just get over it.

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