9 March 2022

ACT records 838 new cases of COVID-19; a quarter of last week's cases in schools

| Lottie Twyford
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school zone

A quarter of COVID-19 cases reported last week in the Territory were in school-aged children. Photo: TCCS.

The ACT has recorded 838 new cases of COVID-19 in the reporting period to 8 pm yesterday.

It’s the third day in a row cases have been higher than the previous day’s.

Yesterday, 658 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded.

Meanwhile, according to data publicly available on the ACT Education Directorate’s website, 90 per cent of all schools recorded at least one case of COVID-19 last week.

During the week ending Sunday, 6 March, 1324 cases of COVID-19 were reported in 127 schools – both public and non-government schools (Years K-12) – in the ACT.

Only 10 schools did not record a COVID-19 case last week.

These 1324 cases accounted for more than 25 per cent of all COVID-19 cases (4951) reported last week.

Unlike last year, health authorities have publicly revealed little detail about outbreaks and cases in schools.

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Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said yesterday there had been a “small number of times where ACT Health has come in to support the Directorate and individual schools when there has very clearly been transmission in a school setting and they really want to understand what’s behind that and how to respond to that and whether there should be wider implications for quarantine”.

But that had been a relatively “unusual circumstance”, Ms Stephen-Smith said, when compared with most schools that had experienced COVID-19 exposure in recent weeks.

Last week, Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Vanessa Johnston said updated health advice around isolation rules in an early childhood setting had been provided to the sector, and flagged an impending rule change.

However, Ms Stephen-Smith said yesterday there was still no update to provide.

“There is an ongoing conversation between ACT Health, the Education Directorate and the sector around what the appropriate settings are,” she said.

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The 838 new cases announced today (9 March) have been identified from 457 PCR and 381 RAT. With the additional cases, there are now 4139 (2157 PCR and 1982 RAT) active cases in the Territory.

There are now 37 people in hospital with COVID and two people in ICU, with one requiring ventilation. Yesterday, there were 43 people in hospital.

Since the pandemic began, 56,474 (38,375 PCR and 18,099 RAT) cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the ACT.

The vaccination rate for the ACT’s five-plus population is 93.2 per cent and 69.7 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have received a booster.

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

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Interstate, NSW has reported nine deaths overnight and 13,179 new cases.

There are now 1038 people in hospital with the virus and 39 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported nine deaths overnight and an additional 7081 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 196 people hospitalised with the virus and 32 patients in the state’s intensive care units.

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