ACT records 38 new cases of COVID-19 | Canberra Times

Corona Virus,

The ACT recorded 38 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8 p.m. Saturday, with the chief health official saying Canberra was unlikely to see teenage cases again. The 38 new cases come on the heels of two days of 52 cases, a record for the territory. “I don’t see that as a drop in numbers, these numbers are still higher than the week prior to those 52 days,” Chief Health Officer Dr. Keren Coleman said. “I don’t think we’re going to get below 20, I think we’re looking to our 30s, 40s, 50s as a minimum going forward.” There are 24 new cases linked to each other, while 14 are still under early investigation. Although the number of linked cases is reassuring, the increase in cases over recent days “remains a concern at the moment,” the chief health official said. Fourteen of them were in quarantine for the entire period of infection and at least 16 were contagious in the community. There are now a total of 977 cases associated with this outbreak and 342 active cases. Fourteen people are currently in the hospital, five of whom are in the intensive care unit and three need ventilation. The age range of people in hospital ranged from their twenties to their 80s, of those in hospital nine were unvaccinated, four had received a first dose, and one person’s vaccination status is under investigation. Health Secretary Rachel Stephen Smith said case numbers are still higher than we’re seeing for the majority of outbreaks, and she cautioned people to pay attention as the number of infected people in the community remains high. And she reminded people not to use the official weekend or the NRL major finals as an excuse to get together in large groups. “The number of people who have become infected in the community … is a reminder that we all need to be taken care of. We know from examples between states, that large gatherings can affect multiple families,” she said. “We’re also seeing some evidence of transmission in those gatherings that are perfectly fine under health guidance.” … Health guidelines are there for a reason, and breaking them can put yourself, your family, and friends at risk. “I think in general the people in the ACT are pretty compliant but we also know there is a level of fatigue.” to leave the ACT. She said those many tests on Saturday were “very good numbers,” and that the usual drop in testing numbers over the weekend is unlikely to be the reason for the drop in the daily case rate, from 52 to 38. One violation notice and one warning were issued. Canberra Health Services is responding to many sites of COVID-19 exposure across the health system, including: a positive case in food services at the Canberra Hospital, inpatient ward 14A, team member on ward 12B, continuous management of exposures in ward 10A . No additional transmission of COVID-19 was recorded as a result, which the health minister attributed to the strong protective measures in place. “As far as we can tell they are not all part of the same group,” the health minister said, although she emphasized that the new cases were not linked to the old exposure in Ward 10A. The health minister said people should feel safe going to hospital. More than 100 healthcare workers are in quarantine for five to 14 days based on exposure risk. She said these exposures are putting pressure on the public health system, in addition to the need for more funding from the Commonwealth. “Even if you are fully vaccinated, we still need to get tested if you have been exposed or have any symptoms at all,” said Chief Health Officer Dr. Keren Coleman. Haydon Retirement Community, two of the 7 London Circuit building sites, and two other sites with new status. Prime Minister Andrew Barr on Saturday warned of a “serious crisis” in Canberra hospitals if Commonwealth funding was not increased in the future. His comments followed a letter to Federal Health Secretary Greg Hunt, signed by ACT Health Secretary Rachel Stephen Smith and her fellow state and territory health ministers. They wrote that increased funding was needed due to the “extreme strain” on their health systems, in what they emphasized would be “the most critical phase in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic for our hospital systems.” On Friday, the ACT reported a record 52 new cases, as well as two deaths linked to the Calvary Haydon Retirement Community. Saturday saw a recurrence of 52 cases for the region. Director of Health, Dr. Keren Coleman, said she will provide an update on what health officials have been monitoring in the outbreak on Tuesday. Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this COVID-19 outbreak in the ACT and the closure is free for anyone to access. 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