30 December 2021

UPDATED: ACT confirms 253 new cases; NSW records 12,000; National Cabinet to discuss 'close contact' definition

| Albert McKnight
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COVID sign

ACT Health reminded people today that we should still practise COVID-safe defence measures. Photo: Region Media.

UPDATED 2:10 pm: The ACT has recorded 253 cases of COVID-19 to 8 pm last night, up from 138 yesterday.

The ACT’s active caseload is now 1134. Of these, six are in hospital. No COVID patients are in ICU in the Territory.

Of the Territory’s 12-plus population, 98.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.

A total of 3996 negative test results were recorded in the past 24 hours.

As reported earlier, NSW has recorded 12,226 COVID-19 cases and one death in the past 24 hours.

Yesterday the state had 11,201 new cases.

There are 746 people in hospital and 63 are in ICU.

In NSW, 95 per cent of people aged 16 and over have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 93.5 per cent have received two doses.

Of the people aged 12 to 15, 81.5 per cent have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 78.1 per cent have received two doses.

Victoria has recorded 5137 new cases and 13 deaths. Yesterday the state had 3767 new cases and five deaths.

There are 395 people in hospital with COVID and 100 in ICU.

In Victoria, 94.5 per cent of the state’s 12-plus population is fully vaccinated.

testing clinic with at capacity sign up

The Garran clinic earlier in December. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

10 am: ACT Health has announced it will continue to prioritise testing for people with the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19 and those with symptoms at the Garran testing centre today and tomorrow (30 and 31 December).

The centre in Garran will only test close and casual contacts, people who have symptoms of COVID-19, people who had a positive rapid antigen test result or returned international travellers.

Children under five and their families can also get tested at Garran for any approved reason, including for pre-travel tests.

Those who need a test for other reasons can go to the Kambah, Nicholls and Mitchell testing centres during opening hours.

As at 9:15 this morning, wait times, according to ACT Health, are lower today than in previous days:

  • Garran testing clinic (open 7:30 am to 9 pm): wait time 1 hour +
  • Nicholls testing clinic (open 8 am to 4 pm): 35 mins +
  • Kambah drive through testing clinic (open 8 am to 4 pm): 1 hour +
  • Mitchell drive through testing clinic (open 8 am to 10 pm): 1 hour 30 mins +.

Cases of COVID-19 in NSW continue to increase, with NSW Health reporting 12,226 new cases in the 24 hours to 8 pm on Wednesday.

There are 746 people in hospital, 63 in ICU and one person has died.

People seeking COVID-19 tests in NSW also face lengthy wait times for their results.

NSW Health has said people who attend testing locations in the state seeking results to travel interstate are unlikely to receive their results within 72 hours.

Victoria has recorded 5137 new cases and 13 deaths.

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National Cabinet will meet later today to discuss a proposed new definition of a ‘close contact’.

“It is important that we continue to adjust and get as consistent an approach as we possibly can across all the states and territories,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said yesterday.

“What we are looking to do tomorrow is to ensure we get a definition of close contacts, and which tests are used in what circumstances, and how they are provided to manage a large volume of cases.

“A close contact then defines what sort of test do I need? And what do I need to do? Do I need to stay at home? For how long? What does that mean for people I work with? What does it mean for the people I live with?”

More to come.

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