Residents of a public housing complex locked down due to a Covid case have expressed frustrations about communication from authorities, saying some tenants had been "left in the dark".
About 70 residents of Condamine Court have been forced into quarantine after a person was infectious in the complex for five days last week. Multiple tenants have spoken to The Canberra Times about the response at the Turner complex.
Condamine resident, Ray Polglaze said when authorities turned up on Sunday evening he was not given important information, and relied on a fellow tenant to provide this.
"When they came around they actually seemed to give most people a sheet which said they were in quarantine," he said.
"I actually didn't get one of those sheets, so actually I didn't get a written notice that I was in quarantine."
A demountable has been set up in Condamine Court's car park, where tenants are able to have groceries, medication and other essential supplies dropped off.
But one tenant said they were not told until Tuesday about how they could get deliveries without leaving their flats.
Tenants have also reported that a number of intercoms at the site are broken, which has proven to be a barrier to communication for people on the upper floors.
Mr Polglaze said he was unable to open the foyer door leading to his apartment using an intercom.
He had previously been in quarantine after a suspected case visited the National Gallery and at the time was told his unit was not suitable for quarantine for this reason.
Tenants received groceries on Monday, they were first told dietary requirements would be considered but each unit received the same hamper, which had basic groceries such as bread, eggs and some fruit and vegetables.
Opposition spokesman for housing Mark Parton wrote to Housing Services Minister Rebecca Vassarotti on Monday about the grocery delivery.
Mr Parton questioned why dietary requirements and allergies had not been taken into consideration.
He said residents had been told to fill out a shopping list and this would be collected, but this did not occur.
Condamine Court was confirmed as a close contact exposure site on Monday. The site was being investigated as a possible exposure site on Sunday.
A close contact of the infected individual has also tested positive to COVID-19, but there has not been a widespread outbreak at the complex.
The ACT government has spoken about a "multi-agency" and "person centred response" at the complex, but tenants claimed there was a mismatch between actions the public statements.
Deputy chief health officer Dr Vanessa Johnston said people were being tested on-site again on Wednesday.
She said health authorities were considering how to best support residents moving forward.
Ms Vassarotti said it was a challenging time for many tenants and the ACT government was working hard to ensure they were supported.
She said individuals had different needs, and they would try to respond to these matters as they came up.
"The ACT government response has tried to anticipate the range of tenant needs but we recognise and understand that people do have unique and sometimes complex circumstances so we are working hard to response as issues arise," she said.
"We are focused on being person centred, responsive and flexible in supporting people through this very challenging time."
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Residents said they had still seen activity and people moving around the complex and questioned why there wasn't nightly patrols.
Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said on Monday there was a limit to the restrictions they could place on the site, but that the government was committed to supporting tenants.
"What we're trying to do is support the tenants to ensure that they can quarantine safely that they have all of the health and social supports that are required for them to be able to maintain their quarantine safely," she said.
"That is something that is continuing to be monitored by ACT Health as part of that multi-agency response that's being put in place."
Residents at Condamine Court have previously expressed alarms about maintenance issues and "environmental health risks" at the complex.
Broken doors and windows have been reoccurring issues at the complex.
ACT Shelter chief executive Travis Gilbert said the maintenance issues and the Covid lockdown provided an opportunity for authorities to address longstanding issues.
"Given the maintenance issues that tenants have repeatedly raised at Condamine Court, now is probably an opportune time for housing and health to collaborate on the clear role that housing plays as a social determinant of either better or poorer outcomes," Mr Gilbert said.
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