A lockdown of one or two weeks is what Canberrans should expect given the speed with which the ACT government acted upon confirmation of one case, says the ANU's public health lead for its Covid Response Office.
Professor Tracy Smart, who is also a former surgeon-general of the Defence Force, said the ACT government did the right thing by advertising its plan in advance and then following through with it.
"I'm confident that it'll be one to two weeks. We might be out by one [week]. By locking down on day one, it augurs well," Professor Smart said.
"We haven't done a lot of contact tracing here obviously, but we've got people trained to do that. Locking it down gives them a chance to get this under control.
"Canberrans are smarter than the average bear, and get why we need to do it. I think people will be very compliant with stay-at-home orders, and also compliant on getting testing if they've been in any of the close contact sites."
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The professor said it was important that people understood the risks, and didn't forget the reason for the rules.
"Everyone's a little bit flighty. They're going 'We don't have to do anything until 5pm.' You should be wearing a mask. The risk at 5pm is no different than the risk now," she said.
The university has moved classes online, and will only keep essential workers on site such as those caring for animals.
Her team was prepared, she said, thanks to the early advice as to what the ACT government would do in the event of community cases.
"We're standing down today and support the government because they've done a great job," she said.
And so far, so good.
"They went hard and quick with one case, and I think the evidence has shown that in most cases, that's the way to go," Professor Smart said.
"When this gets off the chain, it's because there are already a lot of cases in the community before people locked down. So I think this really augurs well for a really good response in ACT.
"I also think that Canberrans have been expecting this. They've done a really fantastic job, as I expected them to do."
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Professor Catherine Bennett, Chair in Epidemiology at Deakin University said it appeared the ACT was following the successful South Australian lockdown model, which could see it suppress additional cases quickly.
"It really saved them having transmission go beyond the households of people who'd been at those initial exposure sites," she said.
"You may have already seen some transmission in ACT, you may not, but if you have, then you just want to stop that second generation of spread."
The ACT has among the highest rates of vaccination in the country, but not yet enough to protect everybody, she said, hoping that if people are leaving home they're doing so to get their vaccine and wearing a mask.
"Just every bit helps and even if you only get a quarter less cases, it reduces the workload [of contact tracers] by 25 per cent - that's where it can really start to make a difference," Professor Bennett said.
Federal Liberal minister Jane Hume said the ACT government had acted appropriately.
"Make sure it is a short, sharp lockdown and hopefully it will only last week," she said.
"At Parliament House we have been bracing for this all day, starts in one hour and everybody is preparing as if it has already started."
Hopefully the ACT would be able to pursue the contact tracking and tracing and that will suppress the virus, she said. "We can get to back to close as normal or at least fewer restrictions as soon as possible."
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