The ACT government is reconsidering the COVID response as low case numbers continue in Canberra | Canberra Times

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The ACT government is considering how its COVID response should be revised as the territory moves towards a new pan-normal. There was another day of low case numbers in the capital, with only five cases reported Monday, but Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said an increase was expected. ACT also reported two deaths among people with COVID-19. A man in his 60s and a woman in her 70s died with COVID-19 on Sunday. Both had been in intensive care and neither had been vaccinated. “Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the people who have passed away,” Stephen-Smith said. “Our deepest sympathy to them. It is a very, very difficult time for everyone who dies as a result of this pandemic.” There have been 10 deaths during this outbreak in ACT, which began on 12 August. Monday’s case numbers were the lowest since August 15. But while the number of cases continues to trend downward, Stephen-Smith said the possibility of COVID zero was incredibly low. “We continue to expect that we will start to see an increase in cases as we open up to both our local restrictions and of course travel reopens today across the region of NSW and Victoria,” she said. “Of course, we know that even people who are fully vaccinated can acquire the virus and can transmit it to others.” So while vaccination reduces the risk of transmission, it is in fact reducing the risk of serious illness and hospitalizations. “Smith said authorities were considering the future of ACT’s COVID response this week. She said discussions would consider the future of test sites, coordination of public health and the reaction of the whole government. “We will look at it really thoroughly. “over the next week or two, to consider how we should be reset in this environment of a kind of living with COVID, but also with the really high vaccination rates,” she said. Meanwhile, ACT’s booster-shot program is open people over 18 who received their second COVID-19 vaccination dose at least six months ago, with appointments available at state-run clinics, general practices and pharmacies MORE COVID-19 NEWS: Those eligible are ab le le to get a People who received their second dose at a government clinic will be contacted by ACT Health when they are eligible for a booster dose. “Booster doses are expected to increase protection against serious illness, especially in the elderly, and may also reduce the potential of infected individuals to transmit the virus to others, “said Stephen-Smith. A COVID-19 vaccine mandate for disabled caregivers and caregivers in the home and community has been delayed after employers raised concerns ing that there was not enough time to ensure that their staff complied with the rules. The Public Health Directive, which requires staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19, will be signed on Monday, after what the ACT government said was a significant consultation with the sector. Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this outbreak of COVID-19 in ACT and lockdown is free for all to access. However, we rely on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, sign up here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our newsletters for regular updates. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how to continue accessing our trusted content:

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