A teenage daughter of ACT senator Katy Gallagher is among 17 new COVID-19 cases reported in Canberra on Tuesday.
The former territory chief minister shared the news on Tuesday that her daughter Evie was at home feeling "pretty unwell", after contracting coronavirus from a drama class at a Canberra school.
Senator Gallagher said while her family was grateful for the medical and personal support they had received she was "scared and angry" for her children.
"She needs people around and she's not allowed to have them," Ms Gallagher told ABC. "It's a juggle and a bit of a nightmare."
The rest of the family have returned negative tests. However, Senator Gallagher said she feared for her 16-year-old son who was not eligible to access a Covid vaccine.
"It's really difficult. To some extent I don't know if we will be able to protect him which is really heartbreaking," she said.
Senator Gallagher said with more schools added to the exposure sites on Tuesday night, it was imperative to get teenagers vaccinated and there was no plan for vaccinate them.
"This is really a very personal exposure of some of the failures I have been monitoring," Senator Gallagher said.
"I am lucky as I am fully vaccinated. Unfortunately too many Australians have not had that opportunity."
The entire Gallagher household was in strict quarantine this week, with Evie one of 45 active cases of coronavirus in the ACT.
"My focus right now is on my little girl and getting her through this - but these events bring a sharp personal focus to the consequences of our government's failure to ensure a prompt, efficient national rollout of vaccines.
"Here I sit tonight, where after doing everything right for 18 months, like millions of other families right around Australia - I am left with my children completely vulnerable to COVID-19.
"Thank you to all who are providing us with support and to everyone working to keep Canberrans safe."
Liberal senator Jane Hume offered her best wishes to Senator Gallagher and her family, telling her colleague across the aisle that having a sick child was "every mother's greatest fear".
"All politics aside in circumstances like these - my heart goes out to you," Senator Hume said.
Senator Gallagher's leader in the Senate, Penny Wong, tweeted, "Love to you all. And a big hug for Evie."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has offered his best wishes to Labor's Katy Gallagher and her family.
"To Senator Gallagher, I can understand she's terribly upset about the fact that one of her own children has been affected with Covid. Any parent, I can understand that, would be absolutely heartbreaking and I wish Evie and the family all the best for a speedy recovery," he said.
There are now 45 active COVID-19 cases in the ACT community, including 17 reported on Tuesday.
Two schools are among transmission sites including Lyneham High School and Gold Creek School.
ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said there were four cases linked to Lyneham High School, in addition to the primary case there.
Three cases had been identified associated with Gold Creek school, along with three at the Downer Community Centre and at least six cases linked to the Fiction nightclub.
This is very distressing. There are now 5 cases associated with my son’s high school in Canberra - although both my children and entire family have tested negative. I predict the question over how fast we can vaccinate kids & teenagers will shape when Australia can truly reopen https://t.co/we0jZRPECB— Samantha Maiden (@samanthamaiden) August 17, 2021
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