Page 1055 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022

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During routine data cleaning work conducted by ACT Health in April, 846 incomplete RAT declaration forms were identified and removed from the cumulative ACT COVID-19 cases total. These incomplete forms contained limited demographic information and/or the legal declaration had not been completed. Records with insufficient demographic information including name, date of birth and phone number were removed by ACT Health as these records could not uniquely identify an individual. With this limited information, ACT Health was unable to determine if the person had already completed a RAT declaration, nor contact the person for case processing and therefore could not apply their standard business rules, such as confirming if the person had, in fact, sought a confirmatory PCR test.

In addition, records were removed because individuals did not complete the legal declaration section in the RAT form. There are three components to the legal declaration including stating that the person has tested positive to COVID-19 in a RAT test or interstate PCR test, acknowledging that the information collected by ACT Health may be shared with other government agencies, and declaring that the information provided is correct to the best of the person’s knowledge.

Madam Speaker, the ACT’s world-leading COVID-19 vaccination program continues to provide Canberrans with good protection from the risks of COVID-19. I am pleased to report that in the ACT 80.7 per cent of five to 11-year-olds have been vaccinated with a first dose of the vaccine, and currently, 65.2 per cent are up-to-date with their vaccination, having received a second dose; 97 per cent of all Canberrans aged five years and older have now completed their primary vaccination course; and 75.1 per cent of eligible Canberrans, those 16 and older, have now received a booster or third dose.

Following approval by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, we have also begun providing second booster doses, or winter doses, to eligible Canberrans. These additional booster doses will ensure that people at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are as protected as possible as we head into the winter season. This includes people aged 65 and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over, residents of aged or disability care settings, and people aged 16 and over who are immunocompromised. As of 1 May, 13,451 eligible Canberrans have received their second booster dose. I encourage everyone who is eligible to come forward to boost their protection against COVID-19.

I would also like to take the opportunity to encourage Canberrans to get their flu vaccination. Flu vaccines will be particularly important this year, as it is expected that fewer public health restrictions and the return of international arrivals will drive an increase in flu and other respiratory illnesses this winter. Influenza can be deadly. I strongly encourage Canberrans to protect themselves, their families and their community by getting their flu vaccination.

Canberra Health Services are experiencing a high demand across their health facilities while facing staff shortages due to COVID-19, other illnesses and approved leave. To boost resources in more acute areas, including the emergency department, some changes to less acute services have been made. This includes, from 26 April, the AIS

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