3 May 2022

ACT records 53rd COVID-19 death; CHO to revoke vaccination mandate in healthcare, education settings

| Lottie Twyford
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Dr Kerryn Coleman

Dr Kerryn Coleman has told the government the vax mandate for healthcare and education workers can be revoked. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

The ACT has recorded its 53rd death with COVID-19, a man in his 90s, and an additional 1027 cases in the 24 hours to 8 pm yesterday.

It comes as the Territory’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman, advised the government she intends to revoke the vaccination mandate which is currently in place for healthcare workers and staff in early childhood and primary education settings from 11:59 pm on 13 May.

The mandate will remain for aged care and disability workers, in line with national requirements, Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith confirmed this morning (3 May).

“The revocation of these vaccination requirements is based on updated advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) on the mandatory vaccination for high-risk settings, which no longer extends to workers in healthcare settings and does not recommend mandatory vaccination for education workers,” Ms Stephen-Smith told the Assembly today.

“The Chief Health Officer is also satisfied that the high level of vaccination coverage across the ACT’s eligible population has reduced the risk of outbreaks and poor health outcomes in primary school and early childhood education settings.”

It’s unclear whether the small numbers of ACT public school staff and teachers who did not get vaccinated will return to their in-school roles or not.

As of November last year, just over 50 public school staff, including teachers, were unvaccinated.

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Locally, 64 people are hospitalised with the virus. Four are in ICU; none are being ventilated.

The ACT recorded 798 infections yesterday and there were 66 people in hospital.

Since the pandemic began, 106,705 (66,551 PCR and 40,154 RAT) cases of COVID-19 have been reported locally.

The double-dose vaccination rate for the ACT’s five-plus population remains 97 per cent and 75.4 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have now received a booster.

Of ACT residents aged five to 11, 65.8 per cent have received two doses of vaccine.

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Interstate, NSW has reported 23 deaths overnight and 9656 new cases of COVID-19.

There are now 1513 people in hospital with the virus and 71 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported 12 deaths overnight and an additional 10,185 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 482 people hospitalised with the virus, while 25 patients are in the state’s intensive care units.

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