Page 1466 - Week 06 - Thursday, 2 July 2020

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Motion to take note of petitions

MADAM SPEAKER: Pursuant to standing order 98A, I propose the question:

That the response so lodged be noted.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

COVID-19 pandemic response—update

Ministerial statement

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Children, Youth and Families and Minister for Health) (10.37): I rise today to once again update the Assembly and the community on the COVID-19 situation in the ACT and the actions the government continues to take to protect the health and wellbeing of the community.

I am pleased to advise that since my last update on 18 June there has not been a new case of COVID-19 recorded in the ACT. This means that there remain 108 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ACT since the pandemic began, with 105 people recovered and, sadly, three deaths.

The ACT remains in an excellent position, with no evidence of community transmission. However, new active cases continue to be notified across some Australian jurisdictions, particularly in Victoria, with small numbers in New South Wales. Efforts to suppress the virus are continuing in all jurisdictions, with the aim of avoiding a resurgence in cases as public health restrictions are gradually eased.

As I have said in every update, we need to maintain our vigilance as a community to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The four most effective actions we can take to help keep us and our families safe are: maintain physical distancing and avoid large crowds; practise good hand and respiratory hygiene; stay home if you are unwell; and get tested if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. These things are not just individually important but help to support the efforts of our public health teams as they continue their work to monitor, track and trace the virus.

On 26 June 2020 the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee reaffirmed this advice and highlighted the importance of continuing to focus on all of these simple interventions due to their cumulative effect on transmission reduction. It said:

Physical distancing, combined with other interventions such as international border closures, encouragement of individual measures (including cough etiquette and hand hygiene practices) and effective contact tracing, isolation and quarantine measures; have contributed to the suppression and control of COVID-19 in Australia, and in countries around the world.

While COVID-19 remains a threat to public health, and this may be the case for years to come, these kinds of protective measures will need to be maintained into the

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