The ACT has recorded 71 COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8 pm on Christmas Day. One person is in hospital but there are no intensive care patients.
Following consecutive record breaking days across the lead-up to Christmas, the numbers may be a reflection of lower testing numbers for Christmas Day, although yesterday waiting times at testing centres exceeded two hours at a number of sites including EPIC, the Garran centre and Kambah.
Kambah, Mitchell and Garran are at capacity as of this morning, while the Nicholls testing clinic has been closed for the day.
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It’s believed that the Omicron variant is responsible for the marked increase in diagnoses across the ACT as case numbers also surge to unprecedented levels in NSW, where 6,394 new cases were reported in the latest 24-hour period. There are 1,604 new cases in Victoria where 77 people are receiving intensive care and two deaths have been recorded.
Tasmania has also set a new record with 44 cases and Queensland has 714 cases. Neither state has patients in intensive care.
NSW testing numbers dropped on Christmas Day by about 40,000, although hospitalisations in the largest state now stand at 458, with 52 people in ICU.
A significant majority of patients in hospital are not vaccinated.
New casual exposure sites across Canberra can be found here and have included multiple nightclubs and entertainment venues over the past week including Mooseheads, Hopscotch, The Basement in Belconnen and 88mph in Hobart Place. Murrays buses and the NSW train link have also been named in the lead-up to Christmas.
People who had their second vaccination four months ago – in September – will now be eligible for a booster shot from January 4. The waiting period will then reduce to three months from January 31.