Page 2463 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2022

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(c) continued provision by the ACT Government of vital personal protective equipment and rapid antigen tests (RATs), on demand during the winter months, to disability and in-home aged care workers, people with self-managed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plans who do not access care via a provider organisation, non-government organisation frontline service workers, and youth detention centre and prison staff, is an important safety measure in high-risk settings;

(d) the ACT Government continues to work with the National Disability Insurance Agency, and the NDIS Commission, to support individuals with NDIS plans with COVID-19 preventative measures;

(e) provision of RATs, on demand during the winter months, to schools so that students and educators are able to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19;

(f) additional measures at health facilities, including our hospitals, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission by visitors or our healthcare workforce;

(g) ongoing support to our community sector food relief providers through development of a database and sector network support to better meet localised needs for households experiencing economic impacts of COVID-19;

(h) encouraging work from home where possible, and wearing masks indoors where it is not possible to be at a COVID-safe distance from other people; and

(i) continuing to support easy access to vaccination and boosters for those most at risk through the Weston Creek Walk-In Clinic with flexibility to meet individual needs for those whose clinical risks for vaccination require additional care. Individuals with further support requirements can access COVID testing through the access and sensory clinic located at the Garran Surge Centre; and

(3) calls on all Members of the Assembly to:

(a) support these measures to protect those most at risk in our community this winter; and

(b) work collaboratively towards community recovery, including mental wellbeing and economic impacts, once this peak period of risk to our community has passed.

I rise today to share with this Assembly an important update about our ongoing support for Canberrans as we continue to navigate the challenges of winter and high COVID-19 case numbers.

Since the declaration of the ACT public health emergency in March 2020, everyone in our community has felt the impacts of COVID-19. From our schoolchildren adjusting to at-home learning and staff working off laptops remotely, or not at all, amid community wide lockdowns and restrictions, to the devastating loss of life and on the present threat of coronavirus swirling through the community, COVID-19 has changed each of our lives.

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