Page 699 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 5 April 2022

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Assistant Speaker—Warrant of nomination—Ms Orr, dated 4 April 2022.

COVID-19 pandemic response—update

Ministerial statement

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (10.06): I rise to provide an update to the Assembly on the COVID-19 situation in the ACT and the actions taken by the government to protect the health and wellbeing of Canberrans. Because it is only a short time since my last update, I will take this opportunity to talk about how our teams are supporting people who are diagnosed with COVID-19 and need specific health care as a result.

Since my last update to the Assembly on 22 March, the COVID-19 situation in the ACT has remained relatively stable. There has been an uptick in cases in the past week, but this has come down again over the past couple of days. The ACT government continues to closely monitor the situation, particularly as we head into the cooler months, where we expect to see an increase in cases as people move indoors.

I would again like to take the opportunity to thank all Canberrans for doing their bit for the community by practising COVID-smart behaviours. Our community’s response to the emergence of Omicron has been incredible and has allowed the ACT to transition to living with COVID-19.

Like the ACT, the COVID-19 situation across Australia remains fairly stable, with most states recording a manageable increase in daily cases. Most jurisdictions are operating under eased public health restrictions as we continue to move through the national plan to transition Australia’s national COVID-19 response. There is, however, a need to remain cautious as we approach the winter season, noting the challenges that may come from the expected influenza season, in conjunction with the potential of new or re-emerging variants of COVID-19.

Here in the ACT, as at 8 pm on 3 April, there have been a total of 80,964 cases since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. There are 5,716 active cases, with 45 COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital, four of whom are in intensive care and two requiring ventilation. Sadly, there have been 42 deaths since the start of the pandemic and the ACT government expresses its condolences to the families and loved ones of these people. As at 9 am on 4 April, the ACT has conducted 942,864 negative tests and there are 2,216 close contacts in quarantine in the ACT being supported by ACT Health.

On Friday, 1 April, ACT Health published more detailed COVID-19 health surveillance information on the government’s COVID-19 website. This information expands on the daily and weekly information updates and the monthly Chief Health Officer reports that are tabled in this place and available on the Chief Health Officer website. The new epidemiological report includes more detailed information on age groups of positive cases, hospitalisation information, vaccination status of inpatients and the geographic spread of cases across the ACT.

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