IN FULL: ACT records 13 new local COVID-19 cases | ABC News

IN FULL: ACT records 13 new local COVID-19 cases | ABC News

one mobile phone went off in the press conference so i’ll repeat that 13 new cases all linked eight were in quarantine during their infectious period five or infectious in the community we have 10 people hospitalized with covert 19 and one remains in intensive care yesterday 3 650 tests we again note that there’s very low wait times across our many testing clinics in the ict and so please come forward for testing if you have any symptoms ict police have been active in compliance 526 traffic stops and 17 directions to leave the ict policing have received 88 compliance complaints and issued two cautions following investigating those complaints access canberra attended 117 businesses yesterday monitoring the introduction of the new click and collect model around the ict and reported a very strong level of compliance now in the last seven days more than 31 000 covered 19 vaccine doses have been administered more than 14 000 first dose bookings have been made at ict government vaccination clinics and more than 25 000 people aged 16 to 29 have registered with the my digital health record system since those registrations open up for that age cohort on monday now in terms of the totality of our vaccination program some really encouraging statistics to report 20 sorry 223 621 ict residents had received at least one dose of the vaccine as of yesterday afternoon that equates to 65 of our 16 plus population but the more important figure is 61.5 percent of our 12 plus eligible for vaccination population there are 141 791 ict residents fully vaccinated that represents 41.2 percent of the 16 plus population and 39 of the 12 plus population so a reminder that the ict government’s intention with our vaccination program is to vaccinate as many camberings as quickly as possible and with the available vaccine supply we intend through astrazeneca increased visor and when moderna comes on in pharmacies in about a month’s time to have a nation-leading vaccination program both in terms of the proportion of our 12 plus population that we have vaccinated and how quickly we are able to do it and that’s why we have stood up additional mass vaccination capability through the ais arena so i just repeat what i said yesterday that the ais arena will commence its operation on the 3rd of september it can do up to 24 000 vaccinations in a week and this will allow us to deliver more pfizer to more people more quickly that’s the reason for standing up this big new facility so in summary 13 new cases all of them linked this means we know how or where they became infected 10 are now hospitalized some have been released from hospital but we’ve had some new cases come in to ict hospitals and the one person we’ve been talking about for some time remains in intensive care and again i take the opportunity to thank the staff and the intensive care unit and to send our thoughts and love to the family of that individual in intensive care i’ll now invite dr coleman to provide further update on new cases and epidemiology and then we’ll be happy to take questions thank you thank you very much chief minister and good morning everyone as you know i’m karen and i’m the act chief health officer as the chief minister has said since our update yesterday we’ve recorded 13 new covert 19 cases which brings our total cases for this outbreak up to 250. the good news is that 20 of our cases for this outbreak have now recovered which leaves us 230 current active cases so of the new cases today i can confirm that out of the 13 all 13 can be linked to known cases or ongoing clusters we know that 12 of these 13 are actually household contacts and the remaining one is linked to a known cluster out of the 13 eight were in quarantine during their whole infectious period therefore posing no risk to the community of the five remaining all were infectious in the community for at least part of their infectious period we continue to have 10 people in our hospitals and as the chief mentions one of these remains in icu and continues to receive intensive care support of these 10 patients four are under 40 years of age and six are over 40 years of age all patients are unvaccinated since our last update we have just over 800 self-identified close contacts so this number has dramatically come down from a peak last week of somewhere over eighteen thousand and now over three thousand casual contacts we now have 181 current exposure locations dispersed across the act so no matter which region you live in it’s really important to keep up to date with that information on exposure locations that we update twice a day on the ict covered 19 website as i mentioned yesterday outside of our public sites of transmission we do continue to see clusters and the broader impacts of covert 19 on some of our most vulnerable members of the community we now know that a confirmed case of cobart 19 has visited ainsley village while unknowingly infectious and therefore ainsley village will be listed as an exposure location on our website later today so please check for the specific dates times and classification a bit later today our multi-agency response tech team moved very quickly yesterday afternoon to communicate directly with residents in ainsley village as well as put in place support mechanisms while testing is being undertaken several residents have already been tested and our team along with our non-community uh non-government community partners will remain on site to ensure that residents have access to any support they need so with respect to our general overall outbreak analysis we continue to see a slight increase in the 18 to 44 year old rain age range but no major changes and this is due to the transmission that we are seeing in our household contacts and workplaces as we move forward and this outbreak comes further under control we continue to have 11 public sites of transmission five new cases have been confirmed overnight linked to the bright bees early learning center now this includes one of today’s new cases but four previously confirmed cases with additional information have now been linked to this cluster our total for this cluster is now 26 with a lot of these now household contacts indicating that next generation of transmission and we now have a total of five cases linked to the merchant indian restaurant and this has been upgraded to a close contact site so this is a reminder please check the website and if you have been to any of these sites during the dates and times identified please get tested and do what the website is asking you to do and just to note we continue to see cases coming from onward transmission in the home and workplace and not necessarily from direct exposure to specific locations which as i talked to yesterday is not unexpected and is part of us resolving and moving forwards on this outbreak testing numbers were slightly higher yesterday so thank you to everyone who went out and got tested as always testing information regarding our testing sites and times are available on the act covered 19 website and today my shout out is to our wonderful auslan interpreters mandy cherie and lauren who are with us every day to provide this vital service to the community as we work to make sure that everyone has access to all the information that they need thank you very much and i’ll hand back to the chief for questions and thank you to our auslan interpreters we’re happy to take questions chief minister one of the central assumptions of the doheri modelling is the capacity for testing tracing isolating and quarantine and that that capacity won’t degrade as case numbers increase we’ve seen in new south wales the pressure that that system is under where does that leave the deity modeling in your view well this was the subject of some really good discussion in national cabinet in a three-hour meeting on friday afternoon uh it’s clear that we can’t base our decisions uh on optimal tt iq that that will not be possible with very high case numbers so we need to look at ttiq being partially effective rather than optimally effective and that’s a fact that’s something we will have to deal with so within the series of public health responses that are available to manage the different transitions through the national plan we’ll need to rely more on the public health directions and social distancing and other measures like mask wearing and our principal weapon is vaccination so that combination of factors means slightly less emphasis and reality a reality check that ttiq will not be optimal and so we need to use the other two measures uh to counterbalance that and you’re confident that the other states and territories are on board with that based on friday’s meeting uh well i think that would be the majority view of national cabinet but it really is a matter for other jurisdictions to to put their own position forward but the lived experience is that it’s very difficult to have absolutely perfect ttiq when you’ve got thousands of new cases day after day after day it just gets impossible um i had to sort of harp on a theme but uh overnight we received even more complaints from people who’ve been in quarantine for a long time past their due date um and to be fair when i contacted those people this morning or some of them they had received a call so i acknowledge that but it does raise the question um what measures have you got in place to let people know when they can get out of quarantine and have you set up a system so that people aren’t left waiting like has happened yes yes so there’s a number of ways that people are contacted email sms telephone there’s a callback arrangement there’s a team of 20 that are answering the phones and there’s a team of 20 that are making phone calls out on the callbacks the number in quarantine has dropped from over 20 000 uh to less than a thousand today the team worked until midnight last night i’m advised and then began again uh i’ve almost first light this morning uh in making contact so the the advice i have now is that there is about 800 uh who are still to come out of quarantine not all of them will be at day 14. the system issue that was identified before was that there wasn’t a match an exact match between uh the information that was on someone’s test in terms of full name date of birth and so if there was a slight mismatch and information across twenty thousand people they may not have put exactly the same information into both both systems and that then meant that there had to be a manual process to then go and assess those individual cases there were some instances i’m told that the email from ict health got caught in a spam filter for an individual’s email account and so when they went and looked in the junk mail folder they found the email there in other instances it has required an individual manual process and that’s either been through telephone sms or call back so we are we’re very well aware of the issue the numbers now are down to less than a thousand who are in quarantine and we hope that everyone who is due to receive contact today will receive that contact by way of call back if they read it if they called in yesterday there will be some more tomorrow who will be released and some more the day after and the day after that and then the day after that i believe and then we’re really getting down to more like dozens rather than hundreds um one of the people i talked to said that they had a call and that uh there was like a process to go through um can you just explain what that process is you need to submit your day 13 negative tests and so proof of that and and provide that to to act health now that generally can be automated but there may be circumstances where we need we need eyes on that too to prove and that’s where there can be a delay in the system we can provide them we have been endeavouring to provide further information in the frequently asked questions area of the covert website and through social media engagement this obviously is a very big number of people it was uh as a proportion of the city’s population more than five percent were in we’re in quarantine uh but we’re now down to less than a thousand the mba this morning has announced it has plans for a petition um to get smaller construction sites included in the opening up of construction are you open to that idea and will you meet with them as they’ve asked what okay so a couple of questions there so no the commencement of the staged re reentry of construction activity starts as we have indicated next friday there would be a second stage and that would include residential but it won’t be on friday so petition all you like um it’s not about who signs a petition it’s about the public health situation that we face so the mba are doing their job they’re representing their members and that’s you know entirely appropriate just as the cfmeu and the workers representatives have also been making representations but it is not about who signs a petition uh who demands a meeting or who thumps the table that determines public health directions and if we if the entire system degenerates into who can shout the loudest then we may as well all give up and go home the virus will just spin out of control so that’s not the position that is going to shift the current situation and the current restrictions what will shift the current position and the current restrictions is low case numbers and the epidemiology of the outbreak coming under control so can i be absolutely crystal clear on that i am very well aware i have had thousands of representations in relation to the residential construction sector it is our intent when it is safe to reopen the residential construction sector and the quicker we can get to that safe point the better for the whole community including the residential construction sector but my responsibilities extend beyond just the residential construction sector the mba’s responsibilities are focused mostly on the construction sector so clearly they will have a view and they will advocate of course they will and that’s understood and i respect that as as i respect the right of anyone to make representations but i do need to be clear that the decision-making process is not based on who signed a petition or how many mean emails or social media posts are made that’s if we if we degenerate into making decisions about the public health of the entire community based on who sends a mean tweet we’re in a really bad space on the issue of residential construction um you’re saying that the that sector will be allowed to reopen once it’s safe to do so i think people are trying to understand given those projects are smaller they’re generally a fewer people on them whether that’s a public health risk a risk of covert transmission on those sites or is it a risk that there’ll be worse compliance than the larger sites can you sort of understand that it’s all of it so there’s a cumulative risk across the community about movement of people so let’s go back to first principles the reason for a lockdown is to reduce the movement of people and the interaction of people with each other principle number one you then as you move through an outbreak have the potential to ease certain restrictions that will then lift the risk profile but at a manageable level and where we are now in the outbreak is that we felt able to slightly ease some restrictions counterbalancing with the increase in restrictions that we applied uh to the to the large bulky hardware stores uh for example so there’s a an overarching question of how much movement is there because the flow on implications of people going back to work is more kids in child care more kids needing to attend school more movement all those people who work will duck out for a coffee or get lunch and there’s all of these extra interactions that you have in society now in normal terms that’s great you want that sort of activity in the economy but when you are trying to suppress a deadly virus you prefer not to have that then we go to the issues contained within the construction industry itself and the larger sites with larger workforces have demonstrated not just here but around australia to be more effective in their safety and their covert safe protocols much more effective we then look at general compliance with all of the other work health and safety requirements that go with construction and once again within the construction industry there is a range of compliance with the law at one end you have excellent compliance builders constructors mba members who take things safety exceptionally seriously and pride themselves on it and then at the other end of the spectrum you have some in the industry who think the whole thing is optional and i just simply point to the track record of the ict construction industry in terms of its safety to say you’d think you would understand why the government would have some caution and why this needs to be a stepped and staged process that’s why we are undertaking it the way we are but that doesn’t mean that residential construction won’t reopen of course it will but not first up we take a gradual step forward there will be further steps that will be taken so yes residential construction activity will resume but not next friday the 3rd of september just on some people are now talking about proof of vaccination before you know people can do certain things like for instance go to the pub or go to a restaurant would you support that in the act people needing to well consistent with uh discrimination law just consistent with workplace safety laws it is not unreasonable for a business to uh to have some of those requirements i mean look there are certain businesses at the moment pubs and otherwise that have dress requirements uh you can’t you can’t turn up in thongs and a singlet uh in certain venues so to the extent that they then may also wish to have a range of other public health and safety requirements around the operation of their venue they’re able to do that within the current legal framework but it is not not the case as i think this question has come up every single day in the last six press conferences so my answer is no different than it was yesterday the day before and the day before that i realized you weren’t at every press conference elizabeth but nevertheless we can’t mandate things when people haven’t even had the opportunity to get vaccinated yet so it’s it’s a debate that will be had but it’s still several months away and it won’t be something that the government will be applying blanket across the entire set of social interactions in our society there may be certain settings where the risk is so high that it would be required and aged care is one such example where we have done this just on that we know if will there be public health orders that mandate vaccination for say for instance teachers and health workers i mean is that something you could see again i don’t want to speculate on those matters until we are at a point where we’ve been able to offer vaccination uh to those particular uh to those particular industry sectors or work no i’m not in the business of ruling anything in or out at this point i know that’s that’s you know it’s the favorite question of the journalist will you rule it in or out just not playing those games at the moment our focus is on getting as many canberrans vaccinated as quickly as possible getting this outbreak under control and being able to take some steps forward from where we are now in terms of easing restrictions we have a challenge though that we can quash this outbreak successfully and i believe we’re on the path to do so but we are still exposed to a new spark another another a wave of the virus coming into the act so whatever we do between now and when we get to the very very high levels of vaccination that we need we’re going to have to be very careful and measured in our response over the next three months which is what i said a week ago and it remains the case that spring is going to be difficult because we’re going to be balancing a reality that our population will still not be sufficiently vaccinated and so we will need to have the other measures in place including public health restrictions and directions in order to protect the unvaccinated vaccine rollout we’ve heard the federal government say people hesitant with astrazeneca can wait for pfizer if they wanted to in the coming months as modern and fisa suppliers continue to ramp up will the ict government consider opening those vaccinations to over 60s once everyone else has had the chance to get vaccinated uh well i think that would be something that would be considered once the vaccine supplies are there and so that would be at the very tail end of the vaccination program i’d also observe that we are well advanced both nationally and locally in our thinking in relation to the booster shot program that is going to be necessary so really the vaccination program is just going to be one continuous uh stream of activity once we’ve got to the point that we have fully vaccinated all of the people who want to get fully vaccinated we’re going to have to step almost immediately into doing the booster shots for those who were first vaccinated many months ago so it’s going to be a continuous program of vaccination because it’s not just about hitting those 70 80 90 95 vaccination targets it’s about maintaining the level of community vaccination at those levels into the future and all the evidence from the northern hemisphere suggests that the vaccines provide very effective protection but they do need to be boosted and so i think we can anticipate if if covert follows the path of other infectious diseases that it’s with us for the rest of our lives and we will need to have a booster shot every year given the vulnerabilities of community housing and we’ve just seen ainsling being listed now it’s a second complex what’s the government doing to minimise the risky in vulnerable communities like that and will you consider an in-reach program for other other sites it’s already happening in terms of in-reach vaccination and in-reach programs yes that’s that’s already been happening uh and i was advised that for example the first days vaccination rate at ainsley village is over 70 so that’s a very good uh very good level of coverage uh in in that context so the teams have already been in there’ll still be more people we need to vaccinate absolutely and you know these amongst other risk points across across canberra and across australia are the reason that there’s caution about making too many big steps particularly at 70 national vaccination the data that has been released shows a very strong correlation between vaccination rates the age profile of a particular local government area and also its socioeconomic status so in the ict our highest vaccination rates are in the areas of canberra that have the oldest population and our lowest areas of vaccination are in the parts of the city that have the youngest population so the in the south very highly vaccinated the inner north we’re all a student where a lot of students and young people live not not as highly and so that’s all about who’s been eligible to get vaccinated and these this level of data is being monitored daily weekly and forms part of both our mass vaccination program as well as some of our targeted programs around vulnerable communities just on community service organizations such as mental health and dv support we saw some money come in in the last two weeks i think it was when it was announced in new south wales we’re starting to see an endemic of self-harm especially for younger people will there be any more support or any more or measures now that the budget’s been postponed for these organizations uh yes there already was factored into uh into the budget but we’re able of course to bring forward uh particular announcements and support so the short answer is yes absolutely these things have been being looked at we’re managing and monitoring demand across a number of government and non-government organisation support services we re we recognize the significant role the community sector is playing in assisting particularly for vulnerable communities but more broadly across across the entire canberra population so it will continue to be a partnership between government and non-government providers and we will be providing additional resources the federal government has today released some new numbers which show the breakdown in vaccination rates in different parts of canberra as the vaccination rollout continues would you consider it all different levels of restrictions in different parts of canada no there’ll be one set of arrangements for the ict we can’t get to the point of suggesting that western creek and waden would be somewhat different from the molonglo valley or the the in the north would be different from the inner south now it has to be consistent across the ict whilst we do have some small localised variations we are quite a homogeneous community by and large and we’re at 430 000 people are too small to break down into uh you know into much smaller subsets for different levels of restrictions it would just be too confusing for everyone frankly something on fisa supply so we’re moving to the ais next friday i think it was third of september it’s got the capacity for 24 000 a week which is significantly higher than garen when will be when will we see that surge up to its full capacity in terms of supply to be able to reach that 24 yeah so that’s a it’s an important question and important people understand that it’s got the capacity to do 24 000 a week but uh at the moment we’re only receiving about 17 000 doses a week we anticipate that number going to 19 and 21 and then 23 000 a week in terms of fisa doses over the coming months so it’s it’s going to be a little while before it reaches absolute peak capacity and we would be hopeful that by the time we get to that point that we are well through our vaccination program and that moderna will also uh have kicked in to provide another mrna vaccination option now as i understand that the the dose intervals the recommended dose intervals are three weeks between first and second days for pfizer four weeks between first and second dose for moderna and at the moment astrazeneca is the three-month 12-week dosage although in new south wales they’re obviously having to uh compact that and they’re stretching out pfizer to six weeks in order to try and meet their their sort of immediate crisis uh we are advised by the commonwealth’s going through the pharmacy network that’s that’s the advice we have today if that changes and we uh we need to do moderna then we’ll look at how we could do it but our mass hubs are focused on pfizer and we’ve been planning for that ramp up to more than 20 000 doses a week of fires are arriving and being able to be dispensed through the ais clinic um despite our figures being relatively good today sydney’s recorded more than 1200 again and also um at kumar there’s been covert fragments is that making you nervous well almost everything about covert makes you nervous when you’re when you’re in a position like mine having to try and manage all of these all of these competing interests and issues i mean just this press conference has covered quite a wide range of detail in relation to the covered response so as i understand the epidemiology of the sydney outbreak its effective reproduction rate is in the number of people that each person infects is more still more than one and so we’ve seen it ratchet up from hundreds now over a thousand twelve hundred today the expectation is that that number will keep on growing and it may or may not peak at around 2000 cases a day we will see but it’s still got a way to go regional new south wales our hope is that the new south wales government’s more immediate and clear regional lockdowns have a much greater dampening effect on viral spread on the basis that they’ve got into it earlier and it’s probably easier to contain within smaller communities like kuma than it is you know in a big sprawling metropolis like sydney just on a sports note um right yes i mean sports questions normally signal the end of questions for me so i’ll perhaps if we would come to any other covered ones then i’ll deal with the sports questions and then uh questions for dr coleman yeah just one just one more on on covert we’ve seen so aged care sorry first of all can you provide an update on the aged care vaccination status as we reach our deadline to have them all mandated and then on top of that when it comes to exemptions for mandates currently only for aged care but perhaps into the future as well is religious exemptions one of the exemptions considered okay so the last figures i recall seeing were a little over 80 percent on the uh aged care first dose but i’ll we’ll get an updated number too if we don’t do it today then it’ll be because the commonwealth are doing this so we’re going to get the information from the commonwealth but i recall that the number was over 80 percent uh now i i think religious exemption uh well people certainly can claim that as a reason for uh for not wanting to be vaccinated that that still doesn’t get you around the fact that you you must be vaccinated to work in in an aged care setting but there’s still we’ve got well about three more weeks to get your first dose of a vaccine for workers in that context if i’ve got any of those details wrong i’m sure dr coleman will be able to uh address that but i’m pretty sure that’s um that’s right i’m thinking i’m getting a nod yes okay uh a sports question elizabeth the sports question is um how good is ahmed kelly who won silva overnight at the tokyo games uh well very i didn’t watch it i’m afraid but i don’t have time for the for a sport at the moment but i’m sure an excellent an excellent athlete and a fantastic yeah a fantastic result yeah look sorry i’ve just i haven’t had time um but i i will now go and watch the replay and look congratulations that’s that’s a very proud achievement to win a medal uh in in any uh world championship and the paralympics or olympics is a very significant uh very significant event okay thank you uh dr coleman will take questions um i was wondering um if you could just flesh out the details about the people who are in hospital at the moment because you said some had left and new ones had come in can you just give us a few details um i’m not sure i remember saying that today but anyway i can summarize the 10 people who are in hospital at the moment as advised we have four of those are under 40 years of age six of those are over 40 years of age and as i’m sure is not unexpected given what we’re seeing in new south wales and victoria um all of those cases are unvaccinated and how many have now left hospital oh look i don’t have the rolling date uh in terms of who leaves and who comes on the total number of so far unlinked cases since the outbreak began so yesterday we talked to 16 of those cases being unlinked this is not a number that i’m able to report on every day because the work does take several days so we’ll probably look to doing that two to three times a week the woman oh sorry the the icu patient in critical condition uh this has been for a number of days now within privacy limits are you able to give a bit of an update about what’s going on uh how they’re responding to ventilation and the likes no look we don’t provide clinical details on individuals um just to say that she has been in icu for for a fair amount of time and our thoughts are definitely with her family are there co-morbidities are you able to share that no no further details um just on the ainsley village situation the person who inadvertently went there was that like a visitor or health professional are you able to tell us that and um how concerned are you about there being a spread there so this person spent the what looks like to be the 25th and the 26th and overnight on the 25th at ainsley village we’re currently assessing what that risk looks like and we’re treating the whole site as um as a potential exposure location at the moment and that is why we’re out there at the moment offering testing to all residents and staff who are on the site once we’ve done a walk through and a proper risk assessment about the the person who visited or was on site for those two days where they went how many people were on site and we have some of those results back from the testing as well that’ll help us understand what the risk is and how concerned we are about transmission but i think as we talked about with the condomine site this is a um this is also very vulnerable people who have a a lot of higher level needs and other social factors at play and i think that’s why as soon as we hear that says there’s a potential issue we jump in with both feet and we are there doing all we can very quickly is that offering testing why not make it mandatory given the high risk setting that that it’s in so i’m sure you’re aware that making something mandatory with people who don’t want to have something done is a really challenging situation we always go in as we talked about with compliance as well we always go in with our communication and education so that is the starting point we have had excellent take-up at our condominium and i anticipate that we will have excellent take-up here as well i understand that argument but we already have mandatory you know day 13 testing so you can leave quarantine otherwise you get a further quarantine period same with some casual i’m sure as you appreciate the discussion is about and the language that we like to use is that we are offering testing to those who need to have it available and then clearly if there are problems and we need to fill gaps then we accentuate that approach um i’ve just got one question it’s something that was raised with me but from the public again um apparently last night um there was a notice went out saying there’s new exposure sites but when people went to look at them on the website it hadn’t been updated was that just a glitch or yeah look i don’t have any specific information on that but um just to let people know there’s actually quite a process to go through in terms of assimilating the information from the cases as well as other sources of information we go through a rigorous risk assessment process before we decide when and how a public site will be located sometimes there is a little bit of a timing issue around some of the aspects that need to all come together including including the exposure location on the public forum so apologies if that didn’t quite work as we would have liked it to and hopefully that’s fixed in the next update thank you
rn

IN FULL: ACT records 13 new local COVID-19 cases | ABC News

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