8 January 2022

ACT records 1305 new COVID-19 cases as Garran Surge Centre prepares to become patient clinic

| James Coleman
Start the conversation
Garran Surge Centre, COVID-19, Coronavirus, ACT Health, nurse Photo: Michelle Kroll

The Garran Surge Centre will treat patients with COVID-19. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The ACT has reported 1305 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8 pm on Friday, 7 January.

The additional cases of COVID-19 take the ACT’s total active caseload to 4941 and, of these, 24 people are in hospital, including five in intensive care and four on ventilators.

A total of 3112 negative test results were recorded in the 24 hours to 9 am on Saturday, 8 January. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the ACT since the beginning of the pandemic on 12 March 2020 is 10,777.

The percentage of the eligible population who are fully vaccinated remains the same as yesterday’s figure, 98.5 per cent. The percentage of ACT residents aged 18 and above who have received their booster shot has also remained the same at 20.3 per cent.

READ ALSO UPDATED: No dancing, no eating and drinking while standing under new COVID-19 rules for hospitality

In response to the growing number of cases, a dedicated clinic for people who are COVID-19 positive will open at the Surge Centre at Garran Oval on Monday, 10 January.

This will manage health assessments and treatment for people with COVID-19.

The clinic will provide health care for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have had a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) and who need treatment for other non-life threatening injuries or illnesses.

These may include cuts and abrasions, strains and sprains, bites and stings, infections and wounds.

The clinic will also provide patients who are COVID-19 positive with in-person support and advice as they manage their symptoms during the illness.

Garran Surge Centre, COVID-19, Coronavirus, ACT Health, nurse Photo: Michelle Kroll

Bays are ready and waiting at the Garran Surge Centre. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

It will run seven days a week, including public holidays, from 7:30 am to 10 pm. No appointment is needed for this free service.

The clinic will operate from the northern end of the COVID-19 Surge Centre, with a separate entrance to the testing clinic.

COVID-19 testing will continue to operate separately at the southern end of the facility.

The Inner North Walk-in Centre in Dickson will close at 10 pm on Sunday 9 January until further notice as staff are redeployed to the new clinic at Garran.

From noon today, hospitality and licensed businesses face new restrictions that the ACT Government says are designed to help rein in the spread of Omicron.

READ ALSO Summernats brings out the best and the worst as police target ‘antisocial’ behaviour

Cafes, bars, nightclubs, and indoor entertainment venues must ensure that patrons are seated while eating and drinking, and dancing at these venues is not permitted.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said that with COVID-19 cases across the border growing rapidly, and the ACT now experiencing more than a thousand new cases every day, “these measures are necessary to slow the spread of the virus”.

“Mandatory face masks, density limits and other public health measures for businesses and indoor venues will also continue,” he said.

“Events will continue with ACT Health working closely with event organisers to ensure COVID safety plans are in place.”

Elective surgeries at Calvary Public Hospital have also been put on hold.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said that the ACT health system is starting to experience increased pressure, with more than 230 health care workers currently in quarantine.

“To support our frontline health workers, we have had to make the very difficult decision to cease most Category 2 and 3 elective surgeries at Calvary Public Hospital for the next six to eight weeks.”

There will be no changes to elective surgeries at Canberra Hospital or in the ACT’s private hospitals at this time.

The ACT Government says it will continue to review the public health directions over the coming days and may look to introduce further measures if necessary, including possible limits to indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Across the border, NSW reported 45,098 total new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths in the 24 hours to 8 pm on Friday, 7 January. Total active cases are 268,021.

There are currently 1795 COVID-19 cases in hospital with 145 people in ICU and 40 requiring ventilation.

Of people aged above 16 in NSW, 93.7 per cent have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.