COVID Changes

COVID Changes

COVID transmission is escalating, and rules and restrictions are continually changing.

I understand community frustration over confused messages and the lack of response or support.

Unfortunately government responses have been slow and reactive, exposing a lack of planning for ‘living with COVID’. One of the biggest problems is the inability for many to check if they have COVID, with testing clinics overloaded and Rapid Antigen Tests unavailable or too expensive – see the CHOICE article > HERE. From 24 January, Commonwealth concession card holders will be able to get 10 free RATs over three months through community pharmacies. It remains unclear when pharmacies will have the stock to participate in this program although both state and federal governments say they have secured large orders.

The incredibly rapid spread of Omicron variant cases has caught industry, businesses and government off guard. Government modelling suggests a peak of cases in late January under current restrictions. There’s a good summary of the situation from the ABC > HERE.

I am raising concerns about the massive increase in COVID cases and impacts on frontline health, transport and other services directly with the minister. I’ve also asked the health minister for additional support during this latest wave of transmission and fewer restrictions for people with compromised immunity and at high risk – elderly people and those with disability should not be forced to isolate without help. They can now get a fourth vaccine booster shot > HERE.

I’ve also been advocating for free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and continuing financial support for those suffering financially, including small businesses facing bankruptcy. I have asked the Treasurer to meet with small business operators in the CBD who have had low and no trade since March 2020 but have been forced to pay full or close to full rent. Some business support programs have been extended.

There are new requirements to report positive Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) with fines for not doing so > HERE. Find a testing centre nearby > HERE

Let's work together to celebrate and protect our great city!