The ACT is continuing to experience community transmission of the highly infectious COVID-19 delta strain.
We are still recording cases where the source of transmission is unknown, and cases where people have been infectious in the community.
Without strong public health measures, our community would be quickly overwhelmed by the virus, particularly our unvaccinated population.
Based on the public health risk that remains in the Territory and in our region, the Chief Health Officer has recommended to the Government that the ACT lockdown should be extended for a four week period until Friday 15 October, with some minor amendments to the public health directions.
A mid-point review of the directions will be conducted after two weeks.
Our priority over the next four weeks will be to vaccinate as many people as possible. At least 48,769 Canberrans will receive their first vaccination dose at an ACT Government clinic, and 35,475 will become fully vaccinated. Many more people will get vaccinated through the primary health network over this time period.
Vaccination will support a safer pathway forward.
As the nation reaches the vaccination thresholds outlined in the National Plan to transition Australia’s COVID-19 response, we will be in a position to support the gradual easing of restrictions locally. Based on current trajectories, the nation is anticipated to reach the 70% and 80% effective vaccination milestones in mid to late October and early to mid November.
Each of the phases outlined in the ACT’s Pathway Forward is an opportunity to consider our local public health response.
When looking to ease restrictions, we will consider:
- Vaccination rates both locally and nationally
- The levels of community transmission
- Our ability to continue high level test, trace, isolate and quarantine responses
- How well the community and businesses are complying with Public Health Directions
- Our health system capacity
This is a period of uncertainty and the next few weeks will be challenging. What we are certain of is that a highly vaccinated Canberra is a safer Canberra.