Health minister extends public emergency

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THE ACT public health emergency has been extended another 90 days – to May 18 – after ACT chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman recognised an ongoing threat of COVID-19 in Australia. 

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith made the announcement today (February 17), saying the extension of the emergency declaration will enable the chief health officer to continue to take appropriate action, or give any direction, necessary to protect Canberrans from COVID-19.

“The reality is we will be living with COVID-19 until a vaccine is widely available to everyone,” she said.

“While there has been very positive news in recent days with the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine and the approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we have a way to go in completing the vaccine roll out across the country.

“We need to ensure we have the right processes in place to quickly and appropriately respond to any threat of COVID-19 in our community. Canberrans can expect a public health emergency will be in place for some months to come and most likely throughout 2021.”

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