The ACT has recorded eight new close and casual COVID-19 exposure locations overnight, including an early learning centre and a specialist school.
- Malkara Specialist School in Garran and Nipperville Early Learning Centre in Watson are both listed as close-contact exposure sites
- The territory’s Delta outbreak has disproportionately impacted younger Canberrans, including children, compared to last year’s outbreak
- From next week, people aged 12 to 15 are able to book their COVID-19 vaccinations at a government clinic
The ACT’s second outbreak of the virus has seen young Canberrans disproportionately represented, with the age demographic of COVID-19 cases skewing under 40.
Malkara Specialist School in Garran had close exposure over two days, Tuesday, September 7 and Wednesday, September 8, with exposure between 8:30am and 3:30pm.
Nipperville Early Learning Centre in Watson also recorded two days of close contact with a confirmed case on Monday, September 6 and Tuesday, September 7 between 8:45am and 6:10pm.
The reception at the Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service in Narrabundah has been identified as a casual-contact location on Friday, September 10 from 8:30am to 4:00pm.
New casual exposure locations have also been recorded at Shell Coles Express Charnwood, Narrabundah Friendly Grocer and Bus Route 50 between Watson and Dickson Interchange.
Community rallies around Malkara School
Melissa Clode, whose five-year-old son Charlie attends Malkara, said the virus had forced many of the school community’s families and teachers into isolation.
Charlie has a history of strokes, heart problems, epilepsy and brain damage and fortunately was not at school during the exposure times.
But Ms Clode and Charlie wanted to help the families of children and staff who were exposed by launching a drive for donations towards care packages to help affected children through quarantine and beyond.
She said there had already been a “phenomenal” response to her call out on Facebook for items like building blocks, treats for both children and adults, gift vouchers and meals.
“Everyone who has kids with complex needs is quite scared of COVID and we are all doing what we can to prevent COVID coming into the house.
“Just the thought of people being at home without the support they need for their complex children is quite tough, so I put together this online campaign to get support for all these families that are isolating and our staff as well.
“I look back to when we have had to isolate ourselves and it’s the small things, to make the day a bit easier, that can make a huge difference.”
Vaccination bookings opening up for Canberrans aged 12 to 15
With the ACT’s age demographic for COVID-19 cases still favouring young Canberrans, ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said vaccination bookings at government hubs would open for the 12-15-year-old demographic next Monday, September 20.
“While there is a lower risk of severe disease in children, we have seen through our current outbreak the potential for the Delta variant to spread through school-aged children,” she said.
Ms Stephen-Smith encouraged people in the age group to book at GPs through the Commonwealth’s primary care program, due to limited Pfizer appointments at mass vaccination clinics before November.
“I encourage parents to get their children vaccinated as quickly as possible,” she said.