There has finally been some positive news in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic with the ACT recording its first case of recovery.
ACT Health announced today (26 March) that the Territory’s first case of COVID-19, who was confirmed on 12 March, has now shed the virus and is no longer required to self-isolate.
Despite the good news, there have been nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the ACT’s total to 53. The new cases include six males and three females, aged between 21 and 83.
ACT Health is undertaking thorough contact tracing but can confirm that eight of the cases are linked to overseas travel, including cruise ships, and one is a close contact of a confirmed case.
Relevant flight details and confirmed case details will be uploaded to the health.act.gov.au website.
Permits help local business
More than 100 Canberra restaurants, pubs and licensed establishments have applied for a free three-month commercial liquor permit, enabling them to diversify their business by selling takeaway alcohol.
In a media release on Thursday 26 March, ACT Minister for Business and Regulatory Services Gordon Ramsay said “since we advised licensed business of this option 24 hours ago, 35 such permits have been issued through Access Canberra and the Business Liaison Team are talking with at least 70 more businesses about it”.
Minister Ramsay said more than 125 local businesses had also contacted the dedicated Business Liaison Line (6205 0900) created to support them with their compliance responsibilities as well as how they may be able to diversify their business.
Canberrans are asked to maintain safe physical distancing when purchasing takeaway food or alcohol and should not be congregating in public places or organising and attending social gatherings.
Food relief for vulnerable Canberrans
The ACT Government will work together with community partners, including Uniting Care Kippax, Oz Harvest and The Foodbank to provide urgent food and essential items through a food pantry.
ACT Minister for Community Services and Facilities, Suzanne Orr, said the government will provide $1.5 million over the next six months to ensure vulnerable people get the food and items they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stage one will initially involve supporting the existing crisis and relief centres throughout the community. The Canberra Relief Network will be a central point for procurement and distribution of goods to organisations. This is to enable and empower the organisations to continue meeting the increasing demands of the community during these unprecedented times.
Once the centralised model is established, the CRN will move to stage two – providing direct support to individuals and families who are unable to access existing services.
A call centre is also being set up to assist people in isolation or quarantine. People will be able to register through the call centre for access to the food pantry. Once established, the number will be published on kippax.org.au
Uniting Care Kippax will advise the community via their website kippax.org.au of ways in which donations can occur and when these donations will be accepted.