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City Locked Down After Single COVID Case Detected

Snap lockdown declared in Australia's capital region Thursday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 12, 2021 5:07 AM CDT
Snap Lockdown Called After Australia's Capital Detects Single COVID Case
Healthcare staff watch as workers construct a pop-up COVID-19 testing site in the carpark of a college in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021.   (Daniel Pockett/AAP Image via AP)

(Newser) – Australia’s capital will go into lockdown for a week from Thursday after a single case of COVID-19 was detected and the virus was found in wastewater. Canberra joins Sydney, Melbourne, and several cities in New South Wales state that are locked down due to the delta variant. Canberra residents can only leave home for essential reasons from 5pm on Thursday, general retail stores will be closed, and hospitality venues will only to able to sell takeout, an Australian Capital Territory government statement issued hours before the lockdown said. Schools will be open to students who cannot stay at home. The infection is the first locally-acquired case in the city of 460,000 since July 10 last year.

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A Canberra resident, a man aged in his 20s, had been infectious in Canberra since Sunday and tested positive on Thursday, Australian Capital Territory Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said. The source of the infection was unknown, she said. Coronavirus was detected in wastewater late Wednesday, Coleman said. Three more cases, all contacts of the man, were detected later Thursday, the Canberra Times reports. The lockdown starts on the final day of a two-week sitting of the Federal Parliament. In Sydney, some 580 military personnel are helping police enforce lockdown regulations and authorities are considering calling in reinforcements, the BBC reports. (Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand has announced plans to gradually reopen its borders, starting in 2022.)

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