12 May 2022

ACT records 1132 new COVID-19 infections; 'exhausted' staff leave hospital; another two schools go remote

| Lottie Twyford
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Latham Primary School

Years Three to Six at Latham Primary School have moved to remote learning today. Photo: Region Media.

An additional 1132 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported overnight as pressure ramps up on the Territory’s hospital and public schooling system.

Two additional public schools have now moved to partial remote learning likely due to COVID-19-exacerbated teacher shortages making face-to-face learning impossible.

Students in Years Three to Six at Latham Primary School in Belconnen and students in Years Four to Six at Namadgi School are the latest cohorts to be sent off-campus today.

Students at Latham will return to school next Wednesday (18 May) and students at Namadgi will be back on the following day.

Year 10 students at Amaroo School, Years Three to Six at Palmerston Primary School, Macgregor Primary School and Franklin School, two classes at Black Mountain School and Year Five and Six at Caroline Chisholm School are all learning remotely.

The cohorts at Margaret Hendry School, Charles Weston School and Cranleigh, who were learning remotely last week, have returned to campus.

In most cases, any vulnerable students and children of essential workers are still able to attend campus as required.

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Similar pressure is being felt by the Territory’s health workforce, where around 130 staff were off work due to COVID-19 or other illnesses.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith yesterday said some experienced staff were leaving high-pressure parts of the health system, such as hospital emergency departments and intensive care units, after an ‘exhausting’ two years.

“This is having a workforce impact across both [the public] hospitals, and we are seeing a challenge with providing a skills mix … and ensuring hospitals are staffed safely,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

The Minister foreshadowed that the flow-on impacts of these staffing pressures could mean Walk-In Centres or other community-based health services would be required to close to ensure safe staffing in other settings.

Yesterday, COVID-related hospitalisations hit an equal record with 76 patients admitted with the virus.

Today, that number has dropped slightly to 74 patients, including five in ICU and one being ventilated.

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The 1132 (594 PCR and 538 RAT) new cases reported in the ACT in the 24 hours to 8 pm last night take the total active cases to 5875 (3002 PCR and 2873 RAT).

There have been a total of 115,688 (71,412 PCR and 44,276 RAT) infections recorded in the ACT.

The double-dose vaccination rate for the ACT’s five-plus population remains 97.1 per cent and 75.7 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have now received a booster.

Of ACT residents aged five to 11, 66.5 per cent have received two doses of vaccine.

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Interstate, NSW has reported 23 deaths overnight and 12,600 new cases of COVID-19.

There are now 1403 people in hospital with the virus and 56 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported 15 deaths overnight and 14,333 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 545 people hospitalised with the virus, while 29 patients are in the state’s intensive care units.

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And don’t forget Calwell High School year 7 and 8 cohort are in their 4th week of home learning

Case numbers are increasing, schools and hospitals are already under stress and we are heading into winter and the flu season.

Now might be a good time to consider what steps are required to protect the community. Further reducing restrictions wouldn’t be on my list. If anything, I think that masks in all indoor spaces might be a good idea.

CaptainSpiff9:49 pm 12 May 22

What is it you want to protect the community from? Getting Covid? Half the community has had it already.

Haha you’re joking surely? How precious our society has become that we can’t even handle the mildest of sniffles!

Typical useless ACT Gub’mint. Scrap masks, scrap vax mandates for ACT (government) teachers, right as we’re going into a winter that disease experts say will be tough.
Worst. Government. Ever.

CaptainSpiff9:51 pm 12 May 22

Would those be the same disease experts that told us vaccines would put an end to the pandemic?

Has anyone noticed the correlation between relaxation of restrictions and the rise in numbers of infections?

@marg, same correlation as the vaccine rate and number of infections. We are at what, 95% of the population vaxxed and hitting daily records.

No that isn’t correct, our vaccine coverage has barely changed since late last year, so how exactly do you think vaccine coverage and disease spread are correlated?

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