There has been one new case of COVID-19 recorded in the ACT in the past 24 hours, bringing the ACT’s total to 113 and marking the Territory’s fifth case in the last three days.
This new case is a female in her 20s and is the fourth member of the household where first three cases were living.
This means the ACT’s five current active cases are all linked, with the only source of transmission via close contact.
The individual is currently in quarantine and, as a close contact of a previously confirmed case, also attended Westfield Belconnen on Monday 6 July between 12pm and 12.30pm.
“I want to be clear – there is a very low risk of transmission from exposure to this individual and her household contacts at Westfield Belconnen, due to the short period of time they attended the location and the fact they didn’t come into close contact with anyone else during this period,” Dr Coleman said.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the ACT remains well placed given there is no detected community transmission in the Territory.
“That’s the situation Victoria are in where there is widespread community transmission, we don’t have that yet, the data is not showing that,” Mr Barr said.
Demand for testing across the ACT doubles
In light of the ACT’s recent outbreak, the demand for testing has surged to almost double what it was prior to the first three cases being announced on Wednesday.
Yesterday, some 1,200 tests were conducted across the ACT’s EPIC and Weston Creek Walk-in Centre testing sites.
The ACT has now recorded more than 33,5000 negative tests with almost 1,000 results coming back in the last 24 hours.
In response to the surge in demand, three new additional COVID-19 testing centres will open across the ACT in the next few days.
The COVID-19 surge centre will start testing tomorrow, 11 July, then the West Belconnen Child and Family Centre in Kippax will commence testing on Monday 13 July.
A third site, to be a drive-through testing centre located in South Canberra, is yet to be confirmed.
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said given the demand, it’s important to be testing people displaying symptoms.
“You can be asymptomatic for a period of time and incubating and you won’t get a positive result.
“What we don’t want is people to be asymptomatic, go and get tested, and then get a negative result and think ‘oh yeah I’m all good’ and actually be incubating the virus.
“Testing asymptomatic people is not a good use of our resources,” she said.
ACT Policing quarantine check-ins to “ramp up”
Victorians travelling to the ACT and NSW have been turned away since Wednesday (8 July) unless they have been granted an exemption under “exceptional circumstances”.
There are currently at least 168 people in the ACT returning from Victoria and are quarantining either at home or in hotels at their own expense.
Meanwhile, the ACT Government is working through over 600 requests to enter the ACT, from both residents and non-residents.
So far, ACT Policing have conducted some 60 spot checks on those self-quarantining at 25 different locations, and Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan expects that to ramp up “pretty quickly”.
“For people in quarantine and self-isolation, if you haven’t actually had a visit yet from ACT Policing, you will in the next coming days,” he said.
The ACT Government has a dedicated COVID-19 website for all information about the health and economic response to the pandemic in the ACT. For further information visit covid19.act.gov.au
The ACT Government also has a helpline to assist Canberrans through the challenges of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Helpline is 62077244 and open between 8am and 8pm daily.
You can apply for an exemption to travel to the ACT from Victoria here covid19.act.gov.au/exemption-application