Only one new case of Coronavirus COVID 19 has been recorded in the ACT in the last six days, with no new cases detected in Canberra overnight, leaving the total of confirmed cases at 103.
A total of 79 cases have recovered from COVID-19 and have been released from self-isolation. This is more than three-quarters of the ACT’s confirmed cases.
There are currently two COVID-19 patients in Canberra hospitals. The remainder are isolating at home with ACT Health support.
The ACT has recorded three deaths, including the passing of a woman in her 60s yesterday, who acquired Coronavirus while on the Ruby Princess cruise ship.
The number of negative tests in the ACT is now 6,516.
Daily COVID-19 testing numbers have reduced to 100 a day compared to the 200 to 300 a day we had seen in previous weeks.
ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said ACT Health is exploring the best way of extending that criteria in a way “that makes sense in looking at both the risk of people having come into contact or having COVID-19 and the consequences of people being positive for COVID-19 in our community”.
Dr Coleman said yesterday there are still two cases of COVID-19 under investigation.
“They are quite complex cases and we still are continuing to investigate those and are awaiting some test results.”
Dr Coleman said their inability to so far establish a direct link doesn’t necessarily mean there is community transmission.
“What it tells us is that there is potentially one, two, several undiagnosed cases in the community.
“When we start to see several of those appearing then we become very concerned that there is quite a different level of community transmission occurring that we can’t detect.
“We have plans in place around how we would phase up our testing focusing around the areas where those cases are identified and do some ring outer identification,” she said.
Flu vaccine campaign launched
ACT Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith and Dr Coleman today launched the 2020 flu vaccination campaign.
“Reducing the spread of influenza this year will help to alleviate the pressure on our health system and health care workers as they work to respond to COVID-19,” said Ms Stephen-Smith.
“What we don’t want to see is people who get influenza and COVID-19 at the same time. That can potentially increase the risk of a very bad outcome for people.”
The flu vaccine is free in the ACT for people most at risk of influenza complications, including: children aged 6 months to under 5 years; people 65 years of age and older; pregnant women; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and older; and people aged 6 months and over with underlying medical conditions.