Canberrans encouraged to reduce going out as Sydney cluster grows

Dominic Giannini 24 June 2021 35
COVID-19 warning sign

Residents have been advised to avoid Sydney due to the escalating COVID-19 situation. Photo: Morgan McGoogan.

The ACT is considering further restrictions on travel and movement as the COVID-19 Sydney cluster continues to grow.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has urged people who have recently returned from the Greater Sydney region and arrived in the Territory before the stay-at-home orders came into effect to minimise their movements.

Canberrans are also advised to reduce the number of events they attend over the weekend and limit their exposure to people not in their immediate households or social and work groups.

Ms Stephen-Smith said local restrictions and additional travel restrictions are under active consideration if the situation escalates.

“While we remind the community on a regular basis to follow all of those COVID-safe behaviours, this time it is absolutely vital to reduce the risk of any outbreaks in the ACT and to keep the community safe and businesses open,” she said.

“I would say to all businesses, please do start planning for the possibility that density restrictions in the ACT may change in response to the escalating situation.

“We are seeing those cases escalate in Sydney and we just do not know what is going to happen next.”

Rachel Stephen-Smith getting her COVID-19 jab

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has encouraged people to book in for the COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

The Bondi cluster has now grown to 36 people, including six new locally acquired cases overnight. Premier Gladys Berejikilian has called it NSW’s “scariest” period since the pandemic began but said authorities were doing a good job keeping the outbreak under control.

Around 290 people in the ACT are quarantining after visiting an exposure site, most of which are linked to the National Gallery. A further 1400 people have self-declared that they are subject to the new stay-at-home orders after arriving from one of seven local government areas in Sydney.

“We think that [number] seems quite high so we are looking at those declarations to advise people if they have been a little bit cautious, but we would prefer that people are more cautious, so we very much thank those 1400 people,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.


READ MORE: ACT shuts border to seven Sydney LGAs, new requirements for recently returned travellers


Just over 3750 people have completed the watch and assess declaration after being in the Greater Sydney region in the past 14 days.

The outbreak has caused testing wait times to blow out to up to three hours at the EPIC facility as hundreds of people queue to get a test.

Ms Stephen-Smith said the outbreak has also sparked greater interest in getting the jab.

“Almost 46,000 bookings are in the ACT system going forward, about 23,000 first doses and about 23,000 second dose bookings, so that is really great,” she said.

Almost 31,000 Canberrans, or 9 per cent of people above the age of 16, are fully vaccinated in the ACT.

One-third of the ACT’s adult population has had at least one dose and around 80 per cent of people over the age of 70 have had at least one dose as well.

Around 15 per cent of people between 70 and 79 in the ACT are fully vaccinated, and more than 20 per cent of people aged 80 and over are fully vaccinated.

New Commonwealth data released yesterday (23 June) revealed that the ACT’s Pfizer allocation will almost double in July and August to between 17,000 and 19,000 doses a week. This will increase to between 34,000 and 50,000 doses a week around October and December.

AstraZeneca doses will be phased out by the end of the year and will only be available upon request as a supply of the Moderna vaccine comes through, with the ACT receiving 1000 to 2000 doses a week from September.

This will then increase to between 7000 and 10,000 Moderna doses per week from October.

For the latest COVID-19 advice, visit ACT Health.


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35 Responses to Canberrans encouraged to reduce going out as Sydney cluster grows
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Ol L Ol L 9:16 am 29 Jun 21

At present 35% of those hospitalised in the UK we’re already vaccinated. I think you can forget about any international border openings until well into 2022

rsm1105 rsm1105 7:44 pm 26 Jun 21

My understanding is that UK data shows the delta variant, while more transmissable and the prevalent strain in the UK, has a fatality rate of 0.1%.

In otherwords, this proximates the seasonal flu.

We need to stop the hysteria.

    Maya123 Maya123 10:19 pm 26 Jun 21

    And what is the percentage of those with post-COVID-19 syndrome? These people are not part of the fatalities, but those who ‘got over’ Covid. Some people like to quote a death rate, but then never talk about maybe the worse thing about Covid, the long term suffering. Convenient for anti-vaxers, conspiracy and denier people never to mention this. No mention of how many are vaccinated against unvaccinated in those numbers. No references for their claims. Are the death rates that low now because in the community that figure was taken, many people are now vaccinated?
    “Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the United States are now among the unvaccinated, according to an Associated Press analysis. With the rapid spread of the delta variant in the United States, coronavirus cases are spiking in parts of the country, especially in areas with low COVID-19 vaccination rates.”
    Unlike some who just put a figure from….who knows, they don’t tell us, here is the reference for that last quote.
    https://www.healthline.com/health-news/even-if-youre-vaccinated-the-delta-variant-can-still-impact-you

    Here is some information on long term effects of Covid.

    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-long-term-effects/art-20490351

    One in ten suffer this the following article says:
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210407174321.htm

    This one says one third have long term effects.
    https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/91270

    rsm1105 rsm1105 6:25 pm 27 Jun 21

    Yrp, “long covid’ may have longer term consequences.

    So does obesity.

    rsm1105 rsm1105 6:46 pm 27 Jun 21

    No. 1 on-going effect of “long covid” reported as fatigue in medpagetoday.

    Compared to obesity (and lets face we have a real pandemic of that) can result in:

    * Shortness of breath during easy or routine activities
    *High cholesterol
    *High blood pressure

    * diabetes

    * Joint pain and inflammation, especially in the knees

    * headaches, vague pains and physical discomfort

    * indigestion and digestive problems

    * infertility and complications during pregnancy like gestational diabetes and blood clots

    * restricted mobility

    * Fatigue

    * Psychological distress

    While millions chose not to address these realities, which is their right (and they presumably make.the calculation that they are prepared to live with the relevan risks), we have this hysteria about the new variant with 0.1%

    And the same people whotalk about “long covid” (when did this virus start up again?), dismiss out of hand those who are reluctant to take vaccines which are new technology and in circumstances where there is so simply no data on lo ger term effects. Doesn’t that create some cognitive dissonance.

    chewy14 chewy14 11:01 pm 26 Jun 21

    Early evidence is showing it may have lower fatality rates but also may have higher hospitalization rates.

    What is ironic, is that the low fatality rates have been partially attributed to the effectiveness of the vaccines in use against the Delta Variant (shock horror, even AZ). In countries with high vaccination rates, it is proving far less deadly.

Ol L Ol L 9:28 am 26 Jun 21

Overseas advice is now that mixed shots is ok. So a Pfizer after a AstraZeneca is ok. So it seems AstraZeneca is redundant in many countries.

whatwik whatwik 8:11 pm 25 Jun 21

And speaking of Canberrans being advised to reduce their exposure while out and about …

With yesterday’s ACT Govt OUR CBR bulletin highlighting the ongoing health complications for those who have contracted Covid and using the cases of two 19 and 24 yo locals to emphasise that “age has little to do with it”, it is concerning that so many young people outside of those engaged in health services haven’t been vaccinated.

It would be giving our inept Federal government too much credit to hazard they are concerned about the emergence of the risk of heart inflammation from the Pfizer-Moderna vaccines for the youngest subgroup –

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/jun/23/fda-warning-heart-inflammation-pfizer-moderna-vaccines

and in any case the risk is probably very small and will be accepted as it has overseas in the interests of obtaining protection from the virus via the apparently more effective Pfizer Moderna vaccines.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 5:45 pm 25 Jun 21

When I was drafted into national service in the 1960s I had several vaccinations including one for smallpox along with thousands of other recruits.

I was one of many affected adversely and ended up in the camp hospital. I survived but ended up with eczema vaccinium, a serious skin rash. It plagued me for many years after.

Another smallpox vaccination reaction patient in the same ward developed encephalitis and died.

Smallpox has been eradicated since then however at that time, between as may as 52 per million people vaccinated for the first time experienced potentially life-threatening reactions.

I’m still undecided about getting any vaccination for COVID19 – there are so many latent risks that we are not being told about.

Acton Acton 4:54 pm 25 Jun 21

The more we hear, read and know about AstraZeneca, in Australia and overseas, the more reason there is to hold off until Moderna and Pfizer are made available to all. AZ promoters and defenders are simply gambling with our lives, waiting for fatalities in the ±60 age group before once again changing their minds on eligibility. Then there are others who simply defend whatever the latest goverment edict is.

    chewy14 chewy14 5:59 pm 25 Jun 21

    Acton,
    The opposite is true. The more we read and hear, the more it shows that the risks around AZ are tiny and that the real world performance of the vaccine has exceeded the trial results, whereas the opposite is true for Pfizer. The government is engaging in extreme caution with their assessments, something that doesn’t happen elsewhere.

    It’s strange to see so many people suddenly become so risk averse when they no doubt happily go about their lives engaging in far more risky activities multiple times per day.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:14 pm 25 Jun 21

    If this is happening in Canada, it’s happening here as well.

    https://www.cpac.ca/en/programs/covid-19-canada-responds/episodes/66396178/

    Acton Acton 10:31 pm 25 Jun 21

    CR – that Canadian video shows some very worried medical people detailing inflated covid numbers, misleading information on vaccine risks, harassment, censorship and suppression of doctors and scientists who raise doubts about covid vaccines, faults in vaccine testing, risks to children, suicides from lockdowns, alternative treatments ignored……
    When govt bureaucrats try to prevent dissenting views you know something is wrong.

    chewy14 chewy14 8:17 am 26 Jun 21

    LOL,
    Anti-Lockdown fringe politician who was expelled from the Conservative party for taking money from White Supremacists and has a history of crackpot ideas.

    That’s who you want to hold up as a beacon of truth?

    Bahahahahahahahahah. You guys crack me up. You want to believe the statements of 2-3 people, yet ignore the data and position of literally tens of thousands of doctors and scientists.

    Of course, it’s all a conspiracy right……….

    Ol L Ol L 9:22 am 26 Jun 21

    And don’t forget those that have already had one AstraZeneca shot. Suddenly they’re saying it’s a great vaccine lol. But if they hadn’t had that initial shot I’m sure it would be different

whatwik whatwik 4:41 pm 25 Jun 21

FWIW, wife woke next day after her first AZ with a fever and headache – responded very well to a Nurofen and a Panadol, and then two Panadol, and completely OK by midday.

Informed by that and what we heard, when I had mine a week later I took one Nurofen and one Panadol about 4 hours AFTER the shot, and then 2 Panadol every four hours until turning in – and had no reaction whatsoever, not even the sore arm which is usually a given with flu shots. (Then again, maybe the AZ shot didn’t register, produce antibodies, whatever… who knows).

MERC600 MERC600 4:06 pm 25 Jun 21

Have had my first shot of Astra. Had some Panadol the next day due to a bit of a headache. But am unsure if headache due to Astra or the rough red I had with dinner. Suspect the red.

Ol L Ol L 1:45 pm 25 Jun 21

Good friend passed out the evening after after the AstraZeneca shot, hit her head and had 10 stitches. Not a blood clot so no one cares

John Moulis John Moulis 7:40 am 25 Jun 21

Thank you to those people who have responded to my initial post. Since airing my experiences here and on Facebook it is clear that there is something seriously wrong with this whole vaccination program. Why do we have bureaucrats and politicians picking and choosing who can get what particular vaccine? I am two years over the limit to get Pfizer. Now I am being told that I cannot get vaccinated at all.

To the person who said that all I need do is get a doctor’s referral and I will get Pfizer, that isn’t true. On the vaccination booking line there is a recording which states that doctors referrals will not be considered. That if you are over 60 you will not get Pfizer under any circumstances. End of story.

I have now abandoned any attempts to get vaccinated. I am sick of petty bureaucrats and politicians and their stupid, discriminatory rules and regulations. They have killed off any chance of the entire population getting vaccinated under a sea of red tape. It’s over and I will not be negotiating this jungle again.

    chewy14 chewy14 9:10 am 25 Jun 21

    On the online message it specifically says if you have medical issues that mean you cannot get one vaccine or another, that it can be discussed and worked through.

    This is not simply a referral from your doctor and your unwillingness to engage with the process does not mean it is broken.

    John Moulis John Moulis 10:47 am 25 Jun 21

    It’s broken mate. In 2011 I received a swine flu injection from my GP without any problems at all. I simply phoned up, made an appointment, went in and had the jab. Why should I have to do enter into some kind of convoluted collective bargaining agreement in order to get a Covid vaccine? The latest statistics show that over 50% of Americans have received the Covid injection, and have been able to choose which vaccine they want. Only 3% of Australians are vaccinated. Now I know why.

    Acton Acton 4:58 pm 25 Jun 21

    Agree. Its broken. The only people who deny its broken are those whose powers of critical thinking are seriously deficient.

    chewy14 chewy14 11:34 pm 26 Jun 21

    https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/stay-safe-and-healthy/vaccine/frequently-asked-questions#Can-I-choose-which-vaccine-I-get-

    Yes, it’s so difficult to engage with.

    Oh no, that’s right, you just don’t get to go vaccine shopping at the moment. But no doubt, those with no critical thinking capabilities will not understand why.

    whatwik whatwik 5:42 pm 25 Jun 21

    Yes, I have a brother interstate in a somewhat similar situation who is probably gonna remain unvaccinated – which could be devastating for him and others if Delta really takes off. You will see I’ve had my first AZ, after only recently being scanned for leg clots btw, having preferred the risk to getting Covid (even with the lower effectiveness of AZ factored in), but can understand how those with more chronic conditions and therefore in a much higher risk category might be conflicted/ freaked out/ entirely pissed off (to put it mildly).

    Ol L Ol L 9:25 am 26 Jun 21

    During this worrying time I find it incomprehensible that people blindly follow the advice of so called experts who seem to change their minds regularly. The excuse always being that they acted on the information available at the time.
    I also had trouble booking my jab and glad I did now

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 6:15 pm 24 Jun 21

John Moulis’ experience illustrates a serious flaw in the vaccination program.

With the “advice” (a rather dishonest way of describing what are clearly hard and fast rules) about “preferred” vaccines for different age groups having now changed three times, the federal government has painted itself into the dangerous corner of defending an arbitrary, age-based rule for vaccine access.

This is stupid, stubborn and negligently short-sighted – it is utterly unreasonable for people in John’s situation and ultimately will work against achieving the sort of vaccination rates which will be needed if we are to have any hope of national “herd immunity” against this mutating virus.

    chewy14 chewy14 9:12 pm 24 Jun 21

    You’re assuming what he’s saying is correct though.

    Whilst they do have controls to prevent vaccine “shopping” for people not wanting AZ, a person who does have specific medical conditions can get Pfizer if it’s been assessed as necessary.

    Simply telling the doctor at the Covid clinic you have these conditions is not going to be sufficient, however. You’ll need medical evidence.

    I am a Rabbit™ I am a Rabbit™ 11:03 pm 24 Jun 21

    The problem with the approach of the federal government was they were trying to reach a middle ground between not pissing off their base (older voters) and vaccinating the population. The result is they have failed to achieve both.

    It’s a race to vaccinate the population, and it should have been first come first served to ensure that we can win that race. The chance of blood clotting in Astra Zeneca is ridiculously low, even in younger people. We should be banning birth control based on our response to it.

John Moulis John Moulis 4:35 pm 24 Jun 21

AstraZeneca is a dog and I got it straight from the horses mouth. I went for my first jab today and I told the nurse that I have DVT, pulmonary embolism and was on blood thinners. She phoned the doctor at the Covid centre and he vetoed it saying it was far too dangerous and risky. They told me I could only have the Pfizer vaccine but all efforts to get it have failed. I keep getting told that it is compulsory for someone my age to get AstraZeneca and I am totally barred from getting Pfizer.

I really want to get vaccinated in light of events in Sydney at the moment but it is forbidden.

    Maya123 Maya123 5:21 pm 24 Jun 21

    If the doctor vetoed it, that really strange and frustrating for you. I do hope you manage to breakthrough the barriers being put in front of you, and I fully understand your sane wish to get a vaccine. I would be annoyed and frustrated too.
    I had AstraZeneca and in a week (after the 12 weeks waiting) I get my second vaccine. My doctor tells me (and have read this too) that usually side effects are less for the second than the first. I certainly hope so, as the side effects I got with the first were ‘rough’. Fever, chills and the worst side effect, very strong shaking (during the chill moments). I struggled to hold a phone I was shaking so much and worried it might slip from my hand and go flying. Those symptoms fortunately stopped after a few hours and then I just felt ‘out’ of it for a couple of days. I have nothing in my calendar for a couple of days after the coming vaccine, just in case.

    Could be far worse though; it could be catching Covid.

    Maya123 Maya123 5:22 pm 24 Jun 21

    I should add that my mother also had AstraZeneca, but had no symptoms. So it varies from person to person.

    nothappyjan nothappyjan 11:49 am 25 Jun 21

    Had pretty much the exact same side effects as you, suppose it shows it is actually doing something for my immune system. Will be interesting to see if we still get AZ for the second shot (most likely now that nobody wants it but we keep making it) or we eventually follow Canada, Germany and others that can have Pfizer for the second jab now. Mix and match jabs are looking like it provides better protection from early studies.

    Maya123 Maya123 2:17 am 26 Jun 21

    I am booked in next week for my second AZ, so I expect to have it. This time I will take panadol.

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