10 February 2022

ACT records 500 new cases of COVID-19; vax mandates extended with public health emergency

| Lottie Twyford
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Rachel Stephen-Smith in the legislative assembly

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith: the public health emergency had been extended for another 90 days. Photo: Region Media.

The ACT has recorded 500 new cases of COVID-19 overnight, from 289 PCR and 211 RAT results.

This brings the total number of active cases in the ACT to 2380. Yesterday there were 475 new cases.

There are 51 people in hospital, including three in ICU. None require ventilation.

The vaccination rate for the ACT’s 12-plus population remains 98.6 per cent, and 58.1 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have received a booster.

Of ACT residents aged 5 to 11, 74.9 per cent have received one dose.

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As announced on Tuesday in the ACT Legislative Assembly, the ACT’s public health emergency has been extended by another 90 days.

The government today confirmed this will mean the extension of the limited vaccine mandates currently in place for some professions.

The requirement to be fully vaccinated covers:

  • Residential aged care workers
  • Primary school and early childhood education and care staff
  • Hospital, hospice, Canberra Health Services and patient transport workers
  • Disability support workers, as well as aged-care workers who provide in-home support.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said while the government is “cautiously optimistic” about the current COVID-19 situation, some ongoing public health measures are necessary.

“We need to maintain effective test, trace, isolate and quarantine measures as well as public health social measures to reduce the risk of widespread transmission of the Omicron variant, and to protect those most vulnerable in our community,” she said.

“This extension also means we can be prepared in the event of a new or re-emerging strain of the virus as we head towards winter and cold and flu season.”

Low-level public health measures such as density limits and the requirement to remain seated while drinking and eating remain in place until Friday, 25 February.

The extension of the emergency had been largely expected given the Omicron situation and the fact the government’s fit-for-purpose pandemic legislation has yet to be debated in the Assembly.

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Interstate case numbers remain stable and hospitalisations continue to fall.

NSW has reported 24 deaths overnight and 10,130 new cases (5824 RAT and 4306 PCR).

There are now 1795 people in hospital and 121 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported 16 deaths overnight and an additional 9391 cases of COVID-19 from 6045 RATs and 3346 PCR tests.

There are now 543 people hospitalised with the virus in the state.

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Have to wonder if ending the health emergency will be a point of contention at the next ACT election.

What would it matter? Labor guaranteed to be re-elected after 20 plus years in office. They could do anything they want and still get elected

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