ACT registers 38 new cases of COVID-19 | The Canberra Times

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The ACT has registered 38 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, as the Chief Health Officer said Canberra is unlikely to see cases in teenagers again. The 38 new cases follow a two-day streak of 52 cases, the record for the area. “I don’t see this as a drop in numbers, these are still higher than the week before those two 52 days,” said Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman. “I don’t think we’re going to go below 20. I think we’re looking at the 30s, 40s and 50s at the very least.” Twenty-four of the new cases are linked, while 14 are under early investigation. While the number of linked cases is reassuring, the increase in cases in recent days “is still a concern at the moment,” the chief health officer said. Fourteen were in quarantine for their entire contagious period and at least 16 were contagious in the community. There are now a total of 977 cases linked to this outbreak and 342 active cases. Fourteen people are currently in hospital, five in the ICU and three on a ventilator. The age range of people in hospital is between 20 and 80, and of those in hospital, nine are unvaccinated, four have had their first dose, and one person’s vaccination status is being examined. Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said the number of cases still exceeds what we’ve seen for most of this outbreak, and warned people to exercise caution as the number of contagious people in the community remains high. She reminded people not to use the holiday weekend or the NRL Grand Final as an excuse to gather in large groups. “The number of people who are contagious in the community … reminds us that we all need to be careful. We know from cross-state examples that larger gatherings … can affect multiple households,” she said. “We also see some evidence of transmission at those gatherings that are perfectly fine under the health guidelines. “…The health guidelines are in effect for a reason, and breaking them could put you, your family and your friends at risk.” I think people in the ACT are generally quite accommodating, but we also know that there is a certain amount of fatigue,” she said. She said the number of tests on a Saturday were “pretty good numbers” and that a usual drop in the number of tests over the weekend was unlikely to cause a drop in the daily number of cases, from 52 to 38. and one alert has been issued Canberra Health Services is responding in several locations with exposure to COVID-19 in the health system, including: a positive case in Canberra Hospital food services, a hospital ward 14A, a team member in ward 12B, and ongoing management number exposures in division 10A. As a result, no additional COVID-19 transmission has been recorded, which the Minister of Health attributed to the strict protective measures. “As far as we can tell, they are not all part of the same cluster,” the health minister said, although she confirmed that newer cases were not related to an older exposure in Division 10A. The health minister said people should feel safe in the hospital. More than 100 health workers in quarantine for five to 14 days based on exposure risk. She said these exposures are putting a strain on public health, in addition to the need for more Commonwealth funding. “Even if you’re fully vaccinated, we still need to get you tested if you’ve been exposed or if you have symptoms,” said Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerryn Coleman MORE COVID-19 NEWS: A new case as linked to Calvary Haydon Retirement Community, two to the 7 London Circuit construction site, another two a construction site linked to London Circuit and a Scotts Crossing construction site has a new case. Chief Minister Andrew Barr warned on Saturday of a “serious crisis” in Canberra’s hospitals if Commonwealth funding were not to increase in the future. His comments followed a letter to federal health minister Greg Hunt signed by ACT health minister Rachel Stephen-Smith and her fellow health and territory ministers. They wrote that an increase in funding was needed due to the “continuous pressure” on their health systems, at what they claim is “the most critical phase of the COVID-19 pandemic response for our hospital systems”. On Friday, the ACT reported a record 52 new cases, as well as two deaths related to the Calvary Haydon Retirement Community. Saturday saw a repeat of 52 cases for the area. Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerryn Coleman said she would provide an update Tuesday on what health officials observed during the outbreak. Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this COVID-19 outbreak in the ACT and the lockdown is free to everyone. However, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism. If you can, register here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our newsletters for regular updates. Our journalists work hard to provide local, current news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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