13 May 2022

ACT records 1217 new COVID-19 cases; 500 people have reported more than one infection

| Lottie Twyford
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ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said 508 people had reported more than one COVID-19 infection to health authorities. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

The ACT has recorded 1217 new COVID-19 infections in the 24 hours to 8 pm yesterday as it’s revealed 508 Canberrans have reported more than one COVID-19 infection to ACT Health.

Given the difficulty of ensuring accurate data about reinfection, health authorities say this number may not reflect the number of people who have had COVID twice.

They say it’s likely some people would have returned or recorded positive results in other jurisdictions or wouldn’t have recorded them at all due to changes in advice about when to get tested.

Some instances of prolonged viral shedding may also have been counted as reinfection.

Around 45 per cent of reinfections have returned a first positive test since December last year when Omicron began to spread rapidly throughout the Territory.

ACT Health expects the risk of reinfection will increase over time as immunity wanes from infection and vaccination and new subvariants/variants emerge.

For the most part, whole-genome sequencing has not been undertaken on both samples so it’s impossible to determine the variants a person has been reinfected with.

There is no nationally agreed-upon case definition for reinfection of COVID-19, but Health has defined reinfection as someone who returned a second positive result outside the window for which authorities recommended a recovered COVID-19 case does not re-test for the virus.

Guidance on these non-testing windows has changed over time from four weeks to 12 weeks.

“It’s not impossible that people could become reinfected even a week or two after having COVID-19,” ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman told ABC Radio this morning.

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The 1217 (675 PCR and 542 RAT) new cases reported in the ACT in the 24 hours to 8 pm last night take the total active cases to 6135 (3168 PCR and 2967 RAT).

There have been a total of 116,905 (72,089 PCR and 44,816 RAT) infections recorded in the ACT.

Today, there are 74 people in hospital with COVID, including four in ICU and one being ventilated.

The double-dose vaccination rate for the ACT’s five-plus population remains 97.1 per cent and 75.8 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have now received a booster.

Of ACT residents aged five to 11, 66.6 per cent have received two doses of vaccine.

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Interstate, NSW has reported 13 deaths overnight and 12,020 new cases of COVID-19.

There are now 1398 people in hospital with the virus and 60 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported 18 deaths overnight and 13,181 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 491 people hospitalised with the virus, while 25 patients are in the state’s intensive care units.

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