ACT unveils COVID-19 back-to-school plan

Georgie Moore and Dominic GianniniAAP
Nearly 90 per cent of ACT primary school kids are expected to have had one COVID jab by next week.
Camera IconNearly 90 per cent of ACT primary school kids are expected to have had one COVID jab by next week. Credit: AAP

Nearly 90 per cent of eligible young ACT school children are expected to be partially vaccinated against COVID-19 by the time classes resume.

Students and teachers will also receive two free rapid antigen tests a week for the first four weeks of term one, similar to schemes in NSW and Victoria.

Masks will be mandatory indoors for ACT students across years seven to 12, as well as staff and visitors.

It comes as the territory records two additional deaths, a man in his 40s and another in his 90s, as well as 756 new infections on Monday.

There are 68 COVID patients in hospital, including three in intensive care and one on a ventilator.

The number of active cases in the national capital exceeds 5000, while nearly 40 per cent of adults have received their booster shot.

About half of children aged between five and 11 have had one vaccine dose since bookings opened earlier this month.

Based on bookings, nearly 90 per cent of this cohort is expected to be partially vaccinated by the time school starts next week.

Free rapid antigen tests are expected to be available from schools before the end of week one.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr emphasised the importance of face-to-face learning, noting children were less likely to become severely ill with the virus or develop complications.

Education Minister Yvette Berry said schools had plans to manage infections and avoid closures where possible.

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