19 March 2022

ACT records 1122 new COVID-19 cases

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Nurse preparing COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine

71.2 per cent of ACT residents aged 16 and over have received a booster shot. Photo: Region Media.

The ACT has recorded 1122 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8 pm yesterday, including 610 identified by PCR and 512 by rapid-antigen tests (RAT).

There are now 34 people in hospital, including 2 in intensive care.

The vaccination rate for the ACT’s five-plus population is 95.5 per cent and 71.2 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have received a booster.

The ACT Education Directorate has also eased the majority of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions in schools following them easing across Canberra in recent weeks.

A spokesperson for the directorate said the following are now permitted:

  • School bands, orchestras, choirs and performance rehearsals will be able to resume without students needing to remain in their cohorts.
  • School sports can also resume without cohorting restrictions.
  • Face-to-face school assemblies and performances will also be allowed for students. At this stage, parents are unable to attend in person but where possible, schools will live stream or make recordings of these events available for parents.
  • From term 2, swimming carnivals and school sports competitions can resume off school grounds. Parents are welcome to attend these events when they are held outdoors however, it is recommended they do not attend carnivals or competitions that are indoors.
  • Interstate excursions will also be allowed for trips within a 4-hour driving distance to the ACT.
  • Overnight excursions can also resume with a two-night limit for interstate excursions. Schools will need to prepare a COVID-safe plan for each excursion.

These changes took effect on 17 March, and have been communicated to schools and parents, the directorate confirmed.

Earlier in the week, the strict quarantine requirements for close contacts in early childhood settings were also rolled back to fall into line with current school rules.

The change was welcomed by those working in the sector.

NSW recorded 19,060 new cases and 12 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Victoria recorded 7847 new cases and two deaths.

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