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Canberra Today 20°/22° | Monday, January 24, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

First case: Omicron variant traced to Canberra

THE ACT has its first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. The person is fully vaccinated and returned a positive test result on December 1.

ACT Health says that following genome sequencing, this has today (December 3) been confirmed as the Omicron variant. It is not yet known if this case was acquired in the ACT or NSW. The individual has not travelled overseas.

ACT Health is undertaking further contact tracing and says it will contact anyone identified as a close contact and will need to be tested as soon as possible. The casual contact exposure sites are listed below.

“Due to the evolving situation with the Omicron variant, out of caution and in line with other jurisdictions, ACT Health has increased the quarantine requirements for close contacts regardless of vaccination status,” the agency days.

“This means that anyone identified as a close contact of someone with the Omicron variant is required to quarantine for 14 days. All household contacts members of the close contact are also required to quarantine for 14 days.

“There are no changes to the quarantine requirements for casual contacts. If you have been to a casual contact location, you must immediately quarantine, get tested and remain in quarantine until you receive a negative result.”

Covid testing centres will be open across the weekend.

“We expect that there will be increased demand for testing across the weekend and we ask for the community to be considerate of our staff.,” says ACT Health.

“There may be delays this evening at testing centres and people can elect to stay at home until tomorrow to get their test. 

“Currently the impacts of the new variant are unknown, including its rate of transmission and the effectiveness of the vaccine against this variant. However, as we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and adjust our response accordingly.”

A list of current casual exposure locations and times are below including classification of the sites.

  • Next Gen Canberra – Indoor Pool area, 1 Riggall Place, Lyneham, November 29, 5.15pm-6.45pm.
  • The Knox Made in Watson, 13 Watson Place, Watson, November 30, 9am-10am.
  • Supabarn, 34-38 Eyre Street, Kingston, November 30, 4.20pm-4.50pm.
  • Blue Gum Community School, Spotted Bark End of Year Celebration, School Hall, 114 Maitland Street, Hackett, November 30, 4.30pm-6.30pm. 

If you have been to an identified contact location, you must:

  • Fill in the ACT Contact Declaration Form online
  • Follow any quarantine requirements
  • Get tested and follow ACT Health advice

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