UPDATED 1:45 pm: Two more schools in Canberra’s north have been the latest to be exposed to COVID-19.
Lyneham Primary School was exposed to the virus on Tuesday, 30 November and Wednesday, 1 December last week, while Maribyrnong Primary School in Kaleen is listed as having been impacted on Wednesday, 1 December and Friday, 3 December.
This follows the addition of Black Mountain School and Majura Primary School to the ACT Government’s COVID-19 website over the weekend.
A student who later tested positive for COVID-19 also attended the YWCA-run after school care program at Lyneham Primary School, which will now be closed until further notice.
“The program is closed, and will remain closed until a COVID-19 clean has occurred, and we are advised we can reopen,” the organisation advised parents via its Facebook page.
Australian schoolchildren are likely to begin receiving the Pfizer vaccine as early as January after the national drug regulator (TGA) gave it provisional approval early on Sunday morning.
Children aged between 5 and 11 will be able to receive the jab.
It’s expected the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (Atagi) will give its own independent recommendation to use the vaccine in that age group in the coming weeks.
11 am: The ACT has recorded six new cases of COVID-19 in the last reporting period to 8 pm last night.
With the new cases, there are now 98 active cases in the Territory.
Of the Territory’s 12-plus population, 98 per cent are now fully vaccinated.
The ACT recorded 1511 negative test results to 8 pm last night.
There are a total of six active and cleared cases in ACT hospitals as of 8 pm yesterday, including three in intensive care. None are on a ventilator.
As of yesterday, there are two cases of the Omicron variant in Canberra.
It’s believed the initial ACT case acquired the virus from the Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym in Villawood.
Yesterday, the ACT recorded six new cases of COVID-19.
As of Saturday, 53 people in Canberra were in quarantine after being identified as close contacts of an Omicron case, but this number is likely to have increased.
Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said over the weekend that the ACT has not yet made any decision about imposing stricter public health or social-distancing measures. However, authorities will pause any decision-making on further relaxing restrictions, including removing QR check-in requirements or scrapping density limits.
She said if any restrictions were to be reintroduced, mask-wearing indoors would likely be the first step.
Both Black Mountain School and Majura Primary School in Canberra’s north were exposed to the virus on Wednesday, 1 December.
New exposure sites added to the ACT Government’s COVID-19 website over the weekend included several popular restaurants and bars.
Casual contact sites on Tuesday, 30 November are Two Sisters Lao Thai Cusine in Dickson between 6 pm and 7 pm, Marble & Grain between 5:47 pm and 9:10 pm, and the Hyatt Hotel Clubhouse (Gym Gloor area only) between 8 am and 9 am.
On Wednesday, 1 December, Dickson Tap House is listed as a casual exposure site between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm.
Next Gen Canberra is listed as a casual exposure site on Thursday, 2 December, between 3 pm and 3:45 pm.
Parliament House remains shut to the public after a political staffer for Greens Leader Adam Bandt tested positive for the virus over the weekend.
While a supermarket, end of school celebration and a gym were all among the first casual Omicron exposure sites, the only Omicron close contact site remains The Knox Made in Watson.
It’s listed as a venue of concern on Tuesday, 30 November, between 9 am and 10 am.
Health authorities have increased quarantine requirements for close contacts of Omicron cases. Anyone identified as a close contact of someone with the Omicron variant is required to quarantine for 14 days. All household members of the close contact must quarantine for 14 days.
Ms Stephen-Smith acknowledged the difficulty of these isolation requirements for Canberrans, particularly at this time of year.
“Thank you very much to those Canberrans who are in quarantine. We owe you a debt of gratitude,” she said.
Ms Stephen-Smith said quarantine requirements had been tightened at this stage as a precaution, given how little was known about the variant.
“We know that a new variant can change the game, but we also know that we learn a lot in the first few weeks and can adjust our settings accordingly.”
Today in NSW, there are 208 new cases and no deaths.
As of today, there are 25 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the state.
There are 152 people in hospitals across the state with the virus and 24 in ICU.
NSW Health said 94.6 per cent of the 16-plus population has received their first dose, and 92.8 per cent has had two doses.
In Victoria, there are 1073 new cases and six deaths.
There are 310 Victorians hospitalised with COVID-19, and more than 91 per cent of the state’s eligible population (12 and over) is fully vaccinated.
Across the entire state, there are 16,503 active cases of the virus.
More to come.