Canberra’s COVID-19 curve is flattening, with no new cases of COVID-19 recorded in the ACT in the past 24 hours. The ACT’s total remains at 96, while seven COVID-19 patients are in Canberra hospitals.
A total of 40 cases have recovered from COVID-19 and have been released from self-isolation. The remainder are isolating at home with ACT Health support.
There have been 5,329 negative COVID-19 tests in the ACT to date.
Acting ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Vanessa Johnston said the recent reduction in confirmed cases was welcomed but warned Canberrans cannot afford to be complacent in the lead up to the Easter long weekend.
“Canberrans have been doing a fantastic job complying with the rules on physical distancing and staying at home, and that is definitely helping us to flatten the curve,” Dr Johnston said.
ACT Health has been looking for undetected cases in the healthcare and aged-care sectors, as well as in other high-risk environments, for a number of weeks already.
That surveillance has now been expanded with random testing of some people who have symptoms but otherwise don’t meet the testing criteria. A sample of people who would otherwise be turned away at designated testing clinics will now be tested.
“This disease is still spreading throughout Australia. There will be more cases of COVID-19 in the ACT and we are now even more actively looking for undetected cases,” Dr Johnston said.
“While there is currently no confirmed evidence of community transmission in Canberra, expanding our surveillance will assist to detect this early.”
Dr Johnston emphasised the importance of remaining vigilant to keep the COVID-19 curve down.
“Stay home this Easter, do not travel down the coast or interstate or organise large family gatherings. Continue with physical distancing measures as well as maintaining excellent hand and respiratory hygiene practices.
“The steps we take now will lessen the impact on our health system when community transmission does start to occur here in Canberra,” she said.
The ACT Government has established a new dedicated COVID-19 website for all information about the health and economic response to the pandemic in the ACT.
People who are concerned and want further information on the virus can also call the Australian Government’s 24/7 Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.