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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

COVID-19 testing, vaccines ramp up in ACT as aged care worker tests positive

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The ACT is ramping up testing and vaccinations as the number of exposure sites rises across the national capital.

The testing team has been into the Greenway Views retirement village in the territory’s south to test residents, after an aged care worker tested positive.

An extra 14,000 vaccine doses provided to the ACT will start to be rolled out from today (Tuesday), with the focus being frontline workers such as aged care staff.

With 28 COVID-19 cases confirmed so far, the number of exposure sites has risen to more than 100.

Canberra Institute of Technology campuses in Reid and Bruce are among the new sites, after three people tested positive.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said the number of tests over the past five days had risen from 1000 a day to 5700 – proportionally more than were being rolled out in NSW.

A new testing site is set to start in Kambah, in the city’s south.

The number of cases is expected to rise, with Stephen-Smith saying some “very large exposure sites” had been added to the list.

With testing sites under pressure, the minister has urged Canberrans who are casual contacts to consider waiting to allow close contacts to complete their tests.

But she said anyone with a disability or health condition unable to wait should contact the government hotline.

The city is in lockdown until September 2.

Federal parliament is due to return on Monday, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison has yet to make a decision on whether it will be postponed.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr, says he would prefer parliament not sit unless absolutely necessary.

Current ACT health rules classify Parliament House as an essential workplace which can remain open, albeit subject to tight restrictions.

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