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Canberrans urged to remain vigilant this weekend as restrictions ease

An update to this story has been posted on Saturday 16 May.

While Canberrans can ease back into doing some of those things we enjoy this weekend, such as going to a café or resuming non-contact sport, we’re urged to keep being responsible to stop the spread of COVID-19.

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman issued this warning as the ACT again recorded no new cases of COVID-19 recorded in the past 24 hours. The ACT’s total is still 107, which includes three deaths and 104 recoveries. 

The number of negative tests in the ACT is now 13,386.

Remember your responsibilities

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman has urged Canberrans to remember their responsibilities this weekend.

“Just because restrictions have eased, it doesn’t mean our responsibilities have. As a community, we must adjust to the new way of life where physical distancing and good hygiene is the best way to fight this virus,” Dr Coleman said.

“This weekend Canberrans will be able to start doing some of the things they love and enjoy such as going to a playground or park, grabbing a bite to eat at a restaurant or café or getting back into non-contact community and social sport. 

“However in doing so, Canberrans must continue to avoid large crowds, maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres from others, practise good hand and respiratory hygiene and stay at home if unwell.

“We’ve seen examples overseas where a lapse in concentration has led to a resurgence in cases and this is why we are taking a controlled and strategic approach to the easing of restrictions, in line with the best medical advice.

“If you are unwell please stay at home. If you believe you have COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, shortness of breath, sore throat or a cough, please get tested. Either call your general practitioner or present at one of the designated testing sites.

“In addition, people who have sudden onset of loss of smell, loss of taste, runny nose, muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite may be eligible for COVID-19 testing, after assessment by a health professional.”

All people who are tested should self-isolate until they receive a negative test result.

More information can be found at https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/home

General information

ACT Health is continuing to take appropriate public health action in line with national guidelines. They advise that: “Restrictions have eased but your responsibility hasn’t. 

“We know people are eager to leave their homes and it is understandable that people want to get out and about, however we must remember that it only takes one person with COVID-19 to come into contact with others to create a cluster and potentially start a new wave of COVID-19. We don’t want to go backwards so it is important people don’t become complacent or careless with their actions.

“Staying at home as much as possible and avoiding large crowds is still the best way to protect yourself, and your family, from any potential risk of infection. 

“We again ask Canberrans to remember four requirements in any situation they face in the coming weeks:

The ACT Government has established a dedicated COVID- 19 website for all information about the health and economic response to the pandemic in the ACT. For further information visit www.covid19.act.gov.au

The ACT Government has also established a helpline to assist Canberrans through the challenges of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Helpline is 02 6207 7244 and open between 8am and 8pm daily.

Canberrans are encouraged to continue to stay up to date on developments through the COVID-19 website, as well as ACT Health social media channels.  

People who are concerned and want further information on the virus, can also call the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.   

For details on how the ACT stats compare to other jurisdictions across Australia, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website. This information is updated daily.  

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