8 March 2022

ACT records 553 new cases of COVID-19; 'end of summer holidays' led to case uptick

| Lottie Twyford
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Tuross beach after a big clean up

ACT Health’s latest epidemiological report says the end of the summer holiday period contributed to an uptick in cases. Photo: Sue Hutcheson.

The ACT has recorded 553 new cases of COVID-19 in the reporting period to 8 pm yesterday, with ACT Health attributing an uptick in cases to the end of the summer holidays.

According to the latest epidemiological report from ACT Health which covers the week of 21 to 27 February, case numbers have increased – with the increase being felt most keenly in the 18 to 24-year and five to 11-year age groups.

Authorities said this was likely due to the summer period coming to an end and more people returning to work and school as well as other extracurricular activities.

However this increase has not impacted hospitalisations, with no increase in hospitalisation rates among school-age children or young adults observed during the same period.

New COVID-19 hospital admissions increased slightly this week when compared to the previous period, but are still in keeping with the overall trend of decreasing hospital admissions from January through February.

Between 1 December and 27 February 2022, there were 308 new admissions of people with COVID-19 to ACT public hospitals, accounting for less than 0.7 per cent of all reported COVID-19 cases during this time.

Likewise, ICU admissions have dropped since January, with three or fewer new ICU admissions reported per reporting week since early February 2022.

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From today, children aged between five and 11 will be able to begin receiving their second doses of vaccine.

Children in this age group can receive a second dose eight weeks after receiving their first vaccine dose.

Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Vanessa Johnston said any child who received their first dose at an ACT Government clinic would already be booked in for an appointment to receive their second dose at the AIS Arena mass vaccination clinic.

Dr Johnston said last week the TGA and ATAGI had assessed the paediatric vaccines to ensure they were both safe and effective.

Almost 80 per cent of the five to 11 cohort have received a first dose of the vaccine.

“A second dose of vaccine for your child, once the recommended eight-week interval has passed, will ensure they have the best possible protection from serious illness as a result of COVID-19,” Dr Johnston said.

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The 553 new cases announced today have been identified from 285 PCR and 268 RAT results and take the ACT’s active caseload to 3998 (1899 PCR and 2099 RAT).

Yesterday, 562 new cases were reported.

In total, 54,683 (37,591 PCR and 17,092 RAT) cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the ACT since the pandemic began.

There are 39 people in hospital with COVID and two people in ICU, with one requiring ventilation. Yesterday, there were 36 in hospital.

The vaccination rate for the ACT’s 12-plus population remains 98.6 per cent and 69.2 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have received a booster.

Of ACT residents aged 5 to 11, 78.8 per cent have received one dose.

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Interstate, NSW has reported five deaths overnight and 9017 new cases.

There are now 1066 people in hospital with the virus and 43 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported two deaths overnight and an additional 5645 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 227 people hospitalised with the virus and 29 patients in the state’s intensive care units.

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