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(AUSTRALIA) #Coronavirus Report: The ACT has recorded 21 new locally acquired #COVID19 cases, taking the total number of cases in the territory’s outbreak to 211 #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Aug.28: Fifteen of the new cases are linked to existing infections, and at least six people were out in the community during their infectious period: There are currently 11 people in hospital with #COVID19, with one person still in intensive care in a critical condition: But two of the ACT’s cases have now recovered from COVID-19, leaving 209 active cases in the territory….

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says they ACT records 21 new #COVID19 cases as government announces change in restrictions for some industries taking the total number of cases in the territory’s outbreak to 211: Friday, 27 August 2021, Publish time: 3:28pm…

“Given we’re at that timeframe, we will be able to report on the recovery of cases every day moving forward,” ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said.

“We know that 14 of these 15 [linked cases] are household contacts … so all that good work about people going and getting tested and identifying as close contacts is really paying off.”

Restrictions for some businesses, construction sector set to ease

Building site on the corner of Northbourne and Macarthur Avenue Turner.
The ACT government is working with the construction sector to ensure a”‘safe reopening”.(ABC News: Mark Moore)

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr confirmed that while the city’s lockdown end date had not changed, some amendments had been made for small businesses.

From tomorrow, limited waste drop-off services will reopen for urgent waste disposal at the Resource Management Centres at Mitchell and Symonston, as well as the green waste drop-off on Mugga Lane and the Soft Landing mattress disposal in Hume.

Mr Barr also said from midnight, some retail businesses would be allowed to operate for contactless pick-up or delivery.

“Small retail businesses will be able to have a maximum of two people into their premises to operate a local contactless delivery service or a click-and-collect service,” he said.

But Mr Barr said “to counterbalance this”, some larger essential businesses that have been open to the public over the past two weeks would now be required to fall in line with other smaller businesses using click-and-collect or delivery services.

“This includes hardware stores, pet supply stores and office supply stores,” Mr Barr said.

Gyms, dance studios, health and fitness centres will also be allowed to have two people on-site to film or broadcast classes for patrons, and real estate businesses will be permitted one person at a property to conduct inspections, or film or photograph a home in order for a sale to proceed.

The move to ease restrictions for some retail stores came after Canberra businesses pushed to be able to access their premises, in order to set up online services.

Mr Barr also announced the government was aiming to ease restrictions on the construction industry from Friday, September 3.

“The government has been engaging with the industry over the past two weeks. The feedback we have received from the sector is that they are committed to enacting the strictest COVID-safe arrangements that would enable a staged reopening of construction,” he said.

“This gradual recommencement would start with civil construction — new roads and suburban infrastructure for example — and would also include the manufacturing, fabrication, testing, and equipment supply that will enable construction projects to recommence.

“Large scale construction projects on large site footprints will also be involved in this work.”

Currently, only essential construction services such as urgent repair and maintenance services including plumbing, electrical and heating repair, as well as essential road repairs, are allowed under the ACT’s lockdown restrictions.

The announcement of a plan to allow construction to recommence comes just three days after the sector recorded close contact exposure sites, at Coco Republic in Civic, a joinery business and a Hume warehouse. 

Children probably won’t return to school this term: Barr

Two girls in broad brim hats and school uniforms.
Mr Barr says he expects Canberra students will return to school this year, but not this term.(ABC News: Elise Pianegonda)

Dr Coleman said that young people continued to make up a large percentage of the cases in Canberra’s outbreak.

And she confirmed a child under 12 was among the 11 positive cases currently in hospital.

“The vast majority of cases continue to be in under 44 years of age … 37 per cent of cases are in people aged zero to 17 years, and 46 per cent, aged 18 to 44 years,” she said.

But Mr Barr said despite cases amongst children, he expected school students would be able to return to class this year — though probably not this school term.

The Chief Minister also addressed the opening of vaccination to children aged 12-15, something he has been advocating for in the previous weeks.

He said vaccinating this population would take a significant amount of vaccines, but was able to be done.

“I understand there are about 25,000 Canberrans aged between 12 and 15, so it’s not a small cohort, but it is a manageable, one, two doses – that’s 50,000 we would need,” he said.

“But if Moderna becomes available as well as Pfizer, in a sufficient quantity then we can move quickly.”

The ACT government also confirmed that a planned mass vaccination clinic at AIS Arena would open next week, helping to accommodate the vaccine rollout for 12-15 year olds.

Thousand of Canberrans leave quarantine

A woman with short red hair stands at a lecturn.
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith apologised for the glitch that meant many Canberrans were not informed their quarantine period was over.(ABC News: Mark Moore)

Today also marks the end of quarantine for thousands of Canberrans who have completed their 14-day isolation period after becoming close contacts at the start of the outbreak.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith today apologised to Canberrans left waiting to leave quarantine, as phone lines were clogged with people seeking information on their release. 

“I want to start today with an apology to all of those people who were due to leave quarantine or overdue to leave quarantine who haven’t been able to get their notification from ACT Health over the last couple of days,” Ms Stephen-Smith told ABC Radio Canberra this morning.

Ms Stephen-Smith said the failure was caused by a technical glitch that stopped negative test results being connected with individual files, meaning those people were not contacted.

“Over the last 24 hours, there’s been an incredible amount of work going on … in the process of matching up those negative test results with people’s records in our contact management system. That work has really been underway and so I think about 7,000 got a release notification last night,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

ACT Road Policing is issuing a warning to drivers on Canberra’s roads as part of the current lockdown arrangements.

Road Policing officers are concerned that many people are driving without a legitimate reason. This is leading to more vehicles on the road than there should be.  As the ACT is now in its third week of lockdown restrictions, police are reminding citizens that there are only a few reasons to be on the road.

ACT Policing Acting Inspector of Road Policing, Stephen Booth said that while Canberrans generally are doing a great job complying with restrictions, the volume of cars on the road would indicate many are not.

“We are concerned that people are seeing the existing restrictions as flexible or they think – it’s ok, I’m just going here, or there. As the lockdown has progressed, we are seeing more and more cars on the road. This indicates to us people are not understanding what is essential, and they’re not recognising that each trip means the chance of contact with other people greatly increases.”

“We are two weeks into our lockdown, and now more than ever it is not the time to start relaxing. We need people to stay focused so we can get through this as quickly as possible together.”

Police will be continuing their ‘anytime, anywhere’ policy of checking vehicles and conducting traffic stops. They will be asking drivers and passengers to provide legitimate reasons to be outside of the home in their vehicles. People who are unable to provide a satisfactory reason, may face fines of up to $1000, for being in breach of the health directions.

Travel outside of your home, should be limited for essential reasons only.

A full list of essential reasons, are listed on the COVID-19 website.

#AceHealthDesk report ………Published: Aug.28: 2021:

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