Second coronavirus case in Canberra prompts ACT Government to declare public health emergency

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April 06, 2020 16:02:03

A public well being emergency for the ACT has come into impact, after Canberra’s second case of COVID-19 was confirmed.

Key factors:

  • The ACT joins Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia in declaring a public well being emergency
  • Throughout an emergency, ACT authorities can situation fines of as much as $eight,00zero to individuals who breach orders to isolate
  • Canberra recorded its second confirmed case of coronavirus on Sunday

A person in his 30s examined constructive to coronavirus on Sunday night and had adopted well being officers’ recommendation by isolating himself at residence, ACT Well being mentioned in an announcement.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr introduced on Monday the territory would be a part of Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia in declaring a public well being emergency, after the ACT became the final jurisdiction in Australia to record a confirmed COVID-19 case..

It’s anticipated that each one states and territories will do the identical as a part of a nationwide response to tackling the epidemic.

Mr Barr mentioned there was no short-term answer and choices taken now would have long-lasting results.

“It isn’t simply everybody goes into quarantine for 2 weeks and it goes away,” he mentioned.

“This virus will proceed to circle the globe till everyone seems to be resistant to it or a vaccine is developed.”

Whereas an emergency declaration is in place, the ACT chief well being officer has powers to take away threats to public well being, together with by isolating or quarantining folks.

The Public Well being Act consists of fines of as much as $eight,00zero for individuals who breach orders to isolate.

“A declaration of a public well being emergency permits the chief well being officer to take the required actions required to maintain Canberrans secure,” Mr Barr mentioned.

Additionally introduced on Monday was the cancellation of the Canberra Comedy Competition.

Easter’s Nationwide Folks Competition, which attracts 15,00zero folks to Canberra, has additionally been cancelled, as has music competition Groovin The Moo.

Contaminated man visited arts competition, pub days earlier

ACT Well being mentioned the second individual to be contaminated was aiding them as they labored to find anybody he could have been involved with.

On Monday afternoon, Telopea Park Faculty mentioned it had been informed an individual contaminated with the virus had visited the college grounds briefly whereas infectious however didn’t enter any buildings.

In a letter to folks, the college mentioned there was “negligible threat of publicity” posed to employees, youngsters and others within the faculty group.

It was additionally revealed the contaminated man was at two public areas over the weekend: the Artwork Not Aside competition, held in New Acton, between four:00pm and 5:00pm on Saturday, and Capital Brewing Co in Fyshwick from 5:00pm till 6:30pm.

Chief well being officer’s emergency powers:

  • order folks to isolate themselves
  • order folks to evacuate an space
  • shut any highway or path and stop entry to anywhere
  • enter anywhere if wanted to guard folks’s well being

Supply: ACT Public Well being Act, sections 120 and 121

Chief Well being Officer Kerryn Coleman mentioned the chance of transmission to anybody who was at these venues at these instances was low.

Nonetheless those that had been at these areas that night had been being requested to concentrate on the signs of COVID-19, which embrace fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.

In a statement on its Facebook page, Capital Brewing Co mentioned it had completely sanitised all buyer touchpoints within the venue as a precaution and suggested employees to watch their well being.

Faculties open however camps, excursions, occasions cancelled

ACT colleges stay open, with restrictions on giant scholar gatherings.

Nonetheless, all scholar sports activities occasions, concert events, assemblies, excursions and camps have been cancelled.

“All the measures which have been put in place nationwide will apply within the ACT, there shall be nationwide consistency on each single measure,” Mr Barr mentioned.

He mentioned any choice to shut colleges wouldn’t be taken calmly.

“Choices we take now can be very tough to undo,” he mentioned.

“If we shut colleges, that is it for the yr.

“Individuals want to grasp the gravity of all this and the way choices must be taken calmly and sensibly in opposition to a threat discount matrix guided by recommendation of well being professionals.”

Different Canberra venues and occasions will stay open to the general public, although some are limiting customer numbers.

The Nationwide Gallery introduced it will proceed to function, although it had cancelled all occasions, excursions and faculty teams for 4 weeks.

In the meantime, Capital Soccer mentioned grassroots soccer matches can be go on as deliberate however with additional precautions to cut back the chance of an infection.

“This consists of beneficial hygiene measures and acceptable social distancing at soccer matches,” the governing physique mentioned in an announcement.

Next month’s Groovin The Moo festival, some of the fashionable music occasions in Canberra, won’t go forward.

Its organisers, Cattleyard Promotions, mentioned in an announcement that the Federal Authorities’s suggestions on social distancing made the occasion not possible.

“Sadly, GTM is unable to reschedule the 2020 occasions because of the uncertainty surrounding how lengthy the ban shall be in place for, together with the logistics concerned with coordinating six venues throughout six states and territories to align with one another, and the schedules of each our nationwide and worldwide artists.”

The Nationwide Museum of Australia mentioned it was cancelling public program actions together with excursions and faculty visits.

And the Nationwide Movie and Sound Archive introduced it will briefly cancel education schemes, on-site screenings, exhibitions and particular occasions from four:00pm Wednesday.

This week’s Canberra Comedy Competition has been cancelled, in addition to the Nationwide Folks Competition, which is held over the Easter Weekend and often attracts about 15,00zero folks.

Folks Competition chairwoman Jacqueline Bradley says it’s “a deeply distressing time for everybody”, particularly the performers, who face vital losses.

“We hope our audiences will do every part they’ll to assist artists throughout any out there platform at this tough time,” she mentioned.

In the meantime, Dendy Cinemas mentioned it will solely permit 50 per cent of every auditorium to be crammed for viewings, and would implement staggered seating to make sure social distancing.

“We won’t forestall households and pals from sitting subsequent to one another,” they mentioned.

ANU recollects abroad college students and employees

On Monday, the Australian Nationwide College mentioned it had made the choice to recall all employees and college students presently abroad on college journey, together with these on trade.

“Employees who’re presently abroad on college journey shall be contacted and be supplied assist to return residence,” the college mentioned.

“The college has additionally suspended all future worldwide journey till additional discover.”

An announcement revealed by the college mentioned they had been starting to maneuver some programs to an internet format to cut back contact between members of the college group.

“This week we are going to start shifting in the direction of on-line supply for a lot of of our giant courses and take a look at these smaller courses and tutorials the place social distancing is difficult,” it mentioned.

The assertion additionally urged college employees and college students to maintain their bodily and psychological wellbeing because the disaster continued.

“We’re all feeling the bodily and psychological well being results of this yr,” it mentioned.

“It is essential all of us take care of each other and one another and draw collectively as a supportive group.

“Please do not be afraid to hunt assist.”

Financial impression ‘grim and tough’

Mr Barr mentioned the ACT was not resistant to the financial impacts of COVID-19.

“Authorities alone will be unable to soak up the entire financial impression, it is going to have an effect on our native financial system, the nationwide financial system and the worldwide financial system,” he mentioned.

“The scenario goes to be grim and tough for months and months and months.”

Mr Barr mentioned the federal government was doing all it might to maintain public transport working and shield public servants.

The place sensible, public servants had been being given the choice to work remotely and Mr Barr mentioned steps had been being taken to guard frontline staff.

“We won’t simply shut society down,” he mentioned.

“We’ve to go about — as a lot as we presumably can inside a wise threat discount framework — life as regular.”

And for these Canberrans eager to do all they’ll to assist, Mr Barr urged them to be type and look out for older residents.

“Be type to 1 one other, make good common sense choice and scale back your threat,” he mentioned.










First posted

March 16, 2020 09:15:01

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