5 May 2020

ACT has no new COVID-19 cases, private testing now offered in Canberra and Young

| Genevieve Jacobs
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COVID-19 sign

Drive-through screening to test suspected COVID-19 patients continues to take place at EPIC. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

There have been no new cases of COVID-19 recorded in Canberra in the past 24 hours, and only three confirmed infections remain active in the Territory, according to ACT Health.

The ACT’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is 106, while the Territory is on the brink of recording 8000 negative tests. As testing requests declined, criteria were widened at the start of last week to establish whether people with general flu-like symptoms had the virus.

Expanded testing can now take place at the Weston Creek Walk-in Centre and the EPIC drive-through clinic for anyone who displays symptoms associated with COVID-19 but did not previously fit the criteria.

To date, the testing criteria have focussed on people who have returned from overseas travel or have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, the most likely sources of infection in Australia.

But the ACT Government says that the number of people who meet those criteria has dropped significantly as travellers return home and contact tracing identifies possible infection vectors. This has enabled health authorities to use testing resources more widely in the search for potential community transmission.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has long warned that community transmission is a strong possibility at some point, but to date, there is no evidence of it in the Canberra community.

People who are tested under the expanded criteria will still need to self isolate until their test results come through.

Laverty Pathology also announced its intention to begin COVID-19 testing in Canberra last week among a number of other centres. Testing referrals must still be made by a doctor and patients will be notified by SMS if their tests are clear.

Laverty’s Canberra drive-through clinic is at the corner of Parkinson Street and Namatjira Drive in Weston and is open weekdays between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Patients will need to bring their referral, Medicare card and ID, and must remain in their cars at all times as nurses perform the test.

The company has also opened a testing service on the South West Slopes in Young. The drive-through sample collection service is at 15 Boorowa Street, Young and will operate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3:00 pm and 4.30 pm.

The EPIC and Weston Creek testing centres run by ACT Health continue to operate.

A total of 100 people have recovered from COVID-19 in Canberra and have been released from self-isolation, while one COVID-19 patient remains in a Canberra hospital. ACT Health says the person is in a stable condition. The remaining cases are isolating at home with ACT Health support.

The ACT Government has established a dedicated COVID-19 website for all information about the health and economic response to the pandemic in the ACT. For further information visit www.covid19.act.gov.au.

The ACT Government has also established a helpline to assist Canberrans through the challenges of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Helpline is now live and will operate on 02 6207 7244 between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm daily.

We encourage all Canberrans to continue to stay up to date on developments through the COVID-19 website, as well as ACT Health social media channels.

People who are concerned and want further information on the virus, can also call the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For details on how the ACT stats compare to other jurisdictions across Australia, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website. This information is updated daily.

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