3 December 2021

Supermarket and school among Omicron exposure sites as ACT records first case

| Kim Treasure
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COVID-19 testing centres are expected to be under pressure this weekend as the ACT records its first case of the Omicron variant. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

A supermarket and an end of school celebration are among the casual contact locations released by ACT Health after the first case of Omicron was discovered in the ACT.

Health authorities are working to trace contacts of the person who tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which has been declared a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation.

The person is fully vaccinated and returned a positive test result on 1 December. Following genome sequencing, this case has today, 3 December, been confirmed as the variant.

READ ALSO Palmerston school shut down completely after staff deemed casual COVID-19 contacts

It is not yet known if this case was acquired in the ACT or NSW. The individual has not travelled overseas.

ACT Health is undertaking further contact tracing.

The current known exposure sites are all classified as casual and are as follows:

  • Next Gen Canberra – Indoor Pool area, Lyneham, 29 November, 5:15 pm to 6:45 pm
  • The Knox Made, Watson, 30 November, 9 am to 10 am
  • Supabarn, Kingston, 30 November, 4:20 pm to 4:50 pm
  • Blue Gum Community School – Spotted Bark End of Year Celebration – School Hall, Hackett, 30 November, 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

If you have been to an identified contact location, you must fill in the ACT Contact Declaration Form online, follow any quarantine requirements, get tested and follow ACT Health advice.

Anyone identified as a close contact will be contacted by ACT Health and will need to be tested as soon as possible.

Due to the evolving situation with the Omicron variant, out of caution and in line with other jurisdictions, ACT Health has increased the quarantine requirements for close contacts regardless of vaccination status. This means that 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 are also required to quarantine for 14 days.

READ ALSO Almost 200 food poisoning cases linked to Mrs Kim’s Donuts at Kingston

There are no changes to the quarantine requirements for casual contacts. If you have been to a casual contact location, you must immediately quarantine, get tested and remain in quarantine until you receive a negative result.

Further information on quarantine and testing requirements will soon be available on the website.

ACT Health testing centres will be open across the weekend.

“We expect that there will be increased demand for testing across the weekend and we ask for the community to be considerate of our staff,” a spokesperson said.

“There may be delays this evening at testing centres and people can elect to stay at home until tomorrow to get their test. We will continue to post wait times across ACT Health channels.

“Currently the impacts of the new variant are unknown, including its rate of transmission and the effectiveness of the vaccine against this variant. However, as we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and adjust our response accordingly.”

ACT residents are being reminded to wear a mask when you cannot physically distance and on public transport, maintain good hand hygiene, keep physically distant from people outside of your household – at least 1.5 metres – and check-in everywhere you go with the Check In CBR app.

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Someonesmother5:09 pm 04 Dec 21

Glad they are taking this action and glad there is a 14 day quarantine time so those who are infected don’t spread it further. People like myself who are immunocompromised or have other high risks to covid, are grateful that someone cares, I am over the selfish people who keep saying it is just flu, or it is only mild. Nope. We are coming up to Christmas and we all want to have Christmas not just the ones who think life is back to normal. It never will be. Covid is here for a long time and this is the new world, get used to it

Absolutely absurd that the goal posts have been moved by this incompetent government yet again! 14 days of quarantine for casual contacts of an Omnicon infected person? Does full vaccine status count for nothing? There is strong evidence that the omnicon variant is extremely mild evidenced by the fact there has not been a single death worldwide. It is a fact that viruses evolve to become more infectious and less deadly and the main reason why the Spanish flu ended. Delta was already much milder than the original strain and Omnicon is believed to be 10 times less deadly still yet we are reimposing the same strict measures of 2020 due to the dictatorial edicts of the Barr government.

The problem of course is we still do not know what the impact of this variant is,, even you say as much in your own words “believed to be”. Obviously the evidence suggests it will be milder which is not a bad thing, but in the short term until believed to be is confirmed it is logical to minimise the spread of this variant. .

Btw ACT doing the same as NSW for close omnicom contacts. Are NSW also dictators? No doubt this will be short term and once the effects are known the isolation requirements will be reassessed.

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