7 December 2021

UPDATED: Three nightclubs named as exposure sites; only one new COVID case locally acquired

| Lottie Twyford
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Mooseheads

Mooseheads is among the nightlife venues listed as COVID-19 exposure sites (photo pre-COVID). Photo: File.

UPDATED 1:45 pm: Several popular nightlife venues in the city centre have once again been listed as COVID-19 exposure sites.

Late on the evening of Friday, 3 December, Mooseheads was listed between 11 pm and 11:35 pm and Cube is listed between 11:35 pm on Friday until 1:15 am on Saturday (4 December).

Fiction Club is also listed on Saturday morning between 1:20 am and 2 am.

It’s led to increased demand for testing, particularly at EPIC, where wait times of over an hour are being recorded.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith has revealed that of the three COVID-19 cases recorded overnight, only one was locally acquired.

Of the other two, one case was acquired interstate and one was acquired overseas.

The total number of Omicron cases recorded in the Territory remains at five as of today, she said. These were identified yesterday.

A NSW resident also tested positive for the Omicron variant after being exposed to it while in the ACT.

Ms Stephen-Smith said any changes around the 14-day quarantine period currently imposed on Omicron close contacts and their secondary contacts would follow a Chief Health Officer decision.

“It was really a highly precautionary approach given the one thing we know about the Omicron variant is that it appears to be highly transmissible,” she said.

Rachel Stephen-Smith

Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith acknowledged the difficulty 14 days of quarantine poses for families in the lead-up to Christmas. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

UPDATED 11 am: The ACT has recorded three new cases of COVID-19 in the last reporting period to 8 pm last night, and another inner-north school has been listed as having been exposed to the virus.

With the new cases, there are now 85 active cases in the Territory. To 8 pm last night, there were 1149 negative test results.

Of the Territory’s 12-plus population, 98.1 per cent are now fully vaccinated.

There are a total of five active and cleared cases in ACT hospitals as of 8 pm yesterday, including three in intensive care and one on a ventilator.

O’Connor Cooperative School has become the latest inner north school exposed to COVID-19. It’s unclear at this time whether the person who attended campus while infectious had the Omicron variant or not.

The dates of exposure were Monday, 29 November, and Tuesday, 30 November.

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As of this morning, there are five cases of the Omicron variant in the Territory.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith reiterated the changed quarantine requirements for household contacts, regardless of vaccination status.

“Both close contacts and their secondary contacts, their household members, will need to quarantine from their last day of their potential exposure, whether they were vaccinated or not,” she told ABC Radio this morning.

She’s previously acknowledged the difficulty associated with the strict quarantine requirements for families in the lead-up to Christmas, but said it’s fast becoming clear that the variant is highly infectious.

“It’s very early days and only very few cases, but we do seem to be seeing some evidence that Omicron is very highly transmissible and places that were identified as casual contact sites have led to exposure — I think that was the first time that we’ve seen that in the ACT,” she said.

Once again, Ms Stephen-Smith said if the ACT Government were to reintroduce stricter public health measures, the first step would be mask-wearing indoors.

“But no decisions have been taken on that at this point in time,” she said.

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Today in NSW, there are 260 new cases and two deaths.

There are 155 people in hospitals across the state with the virus and 28 in ICU.

NSW Health said 94.7 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 1185 new cases and seven deaths.

There are 297 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 13,050 active cases of the virus.

More to come.

Lyneham Primary School

A student at Lyneham Primary School was infectious with the Omicron variant while at school for a number of days. Photo: Screenshot.

ACT Health has confirmed three more cases of the Omicron variant in the Territory, bringing the total number of Omicron cases in the ACT to five.

Of the three new cases, two are considered close household contacts.

The third case was a casual contact who attended Lyneham Primary School during their infectious period on 30 November and 1 December.

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At this stage, there are no additional cases connected to Lyneham Primary School, which was identified as an exposure site yesterday. A total of 180 close contacts and their household contacts have now been plunged into a full 14 days of quarantine after the confirmed exposure.

It’s understood the year one and two cohorts have been affected.

As reported yesterday, the after school care program run by the YWCA has also been closed until further notice.

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