The Territory has reported 790 (401 PCR and 389 RAT) new COVID-19 infections in the 24 hours to 8 pm last night as ACT Health warns the peak of this current wave is likely not here yet, despite the latest available data showing a week-on-week decline in cases.
Two weeks ago, ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman predicted daily COVID-19 cases could triple to 3000 in the coming weeks. That increase has yet to be seen.
On Friday (22 July), Dr Coleman said in a video update cases were expected to peak in the coming weeks.
She urged “personal responsibility” – including wearing a mask in a crowded setting, abiding my isolation and quarantine orders, and other ‘COVID-smart’ behaviours.
Around the country, health authorities and governments of all levels are stopping short of mandates. Chief Minister Andrew Barr has said the time for heavy-handed, broad-based mandates is gone.
According to Health’s latest weekly epidemiological report, cases decreased in the week ending Sunday, 17 July, for the first time in five weeks.
There were 7,995 new cases reported between Monday 11 July 2022 and Sunday 17 July 2022, compared to 8,704 cases in the previous week.
Despite this overall decline in cases, the seven-day rolling case mean (PCR and RATs) remained stable at 1100-1200 cases per day.
The health directorate is closely monitoring the overall COVID-19 situation in the ACT, given an increase in case numbers was observed following the Term One school holidays.
The number of cases recorded in the 0-17 age group is also expected to increase now that school has returned.
ACT school students returned to the classrooms last week. No public schools have been required to move cohorts to temporary remote learning due to teacher shortages at this stage, but Education Minister Yvette Berry has already warned this is likely to be a “difficult term”.
The report confirmed the BA.5 subvariant of Omicron is now the dominant strain in the ACT.
The total number of PCRs conducted in the week also increased from 12,551 in the previous reporting period to 19,434. Based on these tests, the test positivity rolling mean decreased to 26 to 27 per cent from 28 per cent.
There are 162 people in hospital with the virus; one person is in the ICU.
There were 155 people in hospital yesterday, including one in intensive care, and the ACT reported 761 cases.
There are now 5849 (3288 PCR and 2561 RAT) known active infections in the Territory and a total of 185,633 (110,458 PCR and 75,175 RAT) COVID-19 cases have been recorded since the pandemic began in March 2020.
ACT Health will now only report vaccination data once a week on a Friday.
Interstate, NSW has reported seven deaths overnight and 10,769 new cases of COVID-19.
There are now 2329 people in hospital with the virus and 58 people in ICUs around the state.
Victoria has reported no deaths overnight and 10,261 cases of COVID-19.
There are now 855 people hospitalised with the virus and 35 patients are in the state’s intensive care units.