ACT records 10 new cases of COVID-19 as national institutions prepare to reopen


ACT has registered 10 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases.

There are currently 11 people hospitalized with the virus in Canberra, including six people in intensive care and five requiring ventilation.

There have been 1,022 negative test results received in the past 24 hours.

ACT also reached an overnight COVID-19 vaccination milestone, with 90% of the eligible population aged 12 and over having now received two doses.

Local health officials have previously said the territory is on track to become one of the most vaccinated jurisdictions in the world by Christmas.

National institutions prepare to reopen

As ACT heads towards further easing restrictions on Friday, National Institutions in Canberra are doing all they can to be ready to open on time.

Mathew Trinca, director of the National Museum of Australia, said the August 12 closure was “a melancholy thing for museums.”

“Museums are supposed to be open, to welcome the public,” he said.

“It was sad, but necessary.”

Mr Trinca said pre-sale tickets for the museum’s Ancient Greeks exhibit, which will open in December, go on sale on Friday, October 29.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

On Friday, Mr Trinca said the safety of the public and museum staff would be “paramount”.

“We will check the numbers on the spot. Obviously we will ask people [aged 12 and over] to wear masks and to distance themselves socially while they are here to take reasonable precautions, ”he said.

“I think in many ways museums, galleries, places like ours, are really important right now to reaffirm all of these things that we love in our lives, and [to] to be able to come and see beautiful works, beautiful exhibitions and enjoy being there with each other. “

Man in beige uniform jumps for joy in front of the National Dinosaur Museum
David Barker said many of the museum’s outdoor dinosaurs received touch-up paint during the lockdown.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

At the National Dinosaur Museum, chief executive David Barker said his staff were “ecstatic” to reopen on Friday.

“It’s been a bit of a tough time for the past two years, with the bushfires and then COVID,” he said.

“We are obviously delighted at the moment, especially the staff who have not been here since August [and] most of our casuals. “

The museum has used the lockdown to renovate, make changes to the amethyst caves, repaint the dinosaurs, and stock up on toys.

“We received a 40ft container full of new toys after closing… so we expanded the store a bit to accommodate the new toys,” said Barker.

Capacity restrictions will apply, and while walk-in people are welcome, Mr Barker recommends booking online to ensure your spot is secure.

“There is a general feeling of expectation”

A woman in black covers a precious painting in a gallery.
Rebecca Edwards of the National Gallery of Australia is viewing paintings in preparation for the gallery’s reopening on Friday.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

While some exhibitions at the National Gallery of Australia will remain closed while curators put the finishing touches on them, Deborah Hart, chief curator of Australian art, said the gallery still has a lot to offer on October 29.

“We have a fantastic exhibition… of the work of Sarah Lucas, a contemporary British artist who was opening just as we were going into lockdown, so it’s very exciting,” she said.

“We also have the second part of Know My Name, which opened just a bit before the lockdown.

Ms Hart said the NGA will adhere to the same COVID security protocols they put in place before the lockdown, including mandatory masks and use of the Check In CBR app. Reservations are recommended, but not essential.

National Gallery of Australia
The National Gallery of Australia will reopen on Friday, with the Jeffrey Smart exhibit “on hold” and opening to the public in December.(Creative Commons Wikipedia: Thennicke)

“I think there is a general feeling of expectation and I can’t wait to really start over and open up the gallery and have a fantastic time,” Ms. Hart said.

“I hope that in the gallery we can play our part in bringing a little joy and inspiration.”

The National Portrait Gallery will also reopen on October 29, with reservations for both free and paid exhibitions being essential.

Questacon reopening in November

But the Questacon National Science Museum has decided to delay opening its doors until November, after redirecting attention online during the lockdown.

An empty Questacon science museum.
Questacon has been empty due to coronavirus restrictions since August and will be for a bit longer.(ABC News)

“There was a big digital hub… so we focused on doing engaging STEM activities through our online resources,” said Senior Director Angie Good.

“But we have also been able to help government efforts to support COVID-increasing activities and redeploy much of our staff, so many of them have been busy sustaining these efforts over the past few years. month.”

Ms Good said she hoped people, once the doors reopened, would like to see exhibits that have been “shut down and started” in the past 12 months, including a gigantic lunar installation and a space exhibit.

“We have looked at every exhibit currently on the ground and made sure it can be used safely against COVID,” she said.

A woman points to the Questacon sign, smiling.
Angie Good said Questacon’s priority is to make sure they can safely open against COVID.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

Ms Good said many practices that were in place before the lockdown would remain, with tickets pre-booked through Ticketek to manage capacity, use of the Check In CBR app and hand sanitizing stations.

Questacon’s reopening date will be announced on their website.

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