ACT records 15 new COVID-19 cases as cluster grows at Wanniassa School

ACT has registered 15 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases.

There are five people in the hospital with the virus, including two people in the intensive care unit – one person requires ventilation.

93.6 percent of Canberrans aged 12 and over have now received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

There are currently 141 active cases of COVID-19 in the area.

Cluster grows at Wanniassa School

The junior campus at Wanniassa School in the south of Canberra has been closed due to a growing COVID-19 cluster.

A person was unknowingly infected with COVID-19 while on campus or in the after-school service from Monday to Friday last week and November 2nd.

“I can confirm that we have 17 cases linked to the new cluster on the Wanniassa School junior campus,” said ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman.

“We also know we have more than 120 close contacts from the Wanniassa School junior campus that we are currently working with.”

Dr. Coleman also said the affected children had COVID-19 symptoms.

“I am aware that the majority of children are symptomatic,” she said.

“So this is not an example of where the majority are asymptomatic – so it hits my prayer to have children tested when they are sick.”

ACT Health advised everyone who has been on the school’s junior campus since Monday, October 25, to be tested and quarantined until they get a negative result.

ACT Health also said it worked closely with the Directorate of Education to provide support to staff and students.

“We know we can not keep COVID out of schools. But what we do know is that we can minimize the impact as far as possible.”

Across the border in NSW, Queanbeyan Public School has also been closed after a member of the school community tested positive for COVID-19.

All staff and students have been asked to isolate themselves until they receive further counseling.

The school remains closed while contract tracing and cleaning is carried out.

Travel restrictions ease, but the 14-day vaccination clause applies

Monday eased travel restrictions in the ACT.

Vaccinated travelers are now allowed to participate in ACT for any reason.

However, unvaccinated travelers coming from high-risk geographical areas are only allowed to enter the ACT for a significant purpose.

Among those considered “unvaccinated travelers” by the ACT government are individuals who have received their second vaccine dose within a 14-day travel period.

Anyone who has had their second shot within the last fourteen days and who has traveled to a high-risk place is subject to orders to stay at home and test requirements upon arrival at ACT, as according to other unvaccinated persons.

A nurse pulls out a syringe with COVID-19 vaccine.
Individuals who have received their second vaccine dose within a 14-day travel period are also considered unvaccinated by ACT.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

Today, Dr. Coleman suggested that communication about this claim was unclear.

“If it is not [clear on the ACT’s COVID-19 website] we will look at making sure it is even clearer.

“I think it’s a relatively small number of people who are affected throughout the population.”

Everyone entering the ACT from a high-risk location must complete an exemption form – with exception documentation automatically approved for fully vaccinated travelers.

Travelers under the age of 12 will be asked to comply with the same requirements that apply to their parents or guardians depending on their vaccination status.

High-risk areas, which currently include parts of Victoria and New South Wales, will be listed on the COVID-19 website.

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