7 February 2022

ACT records one death; COVID-19 case numbers fall below 300

| Lottie Twyford
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Canberra Hospital

Authorities say the unvaccinated are still disproportionately represented. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The ACT has recorded one new death with COVID-19 in the latest reporting period. A man in his 90s has become the 29th casualty since the pandemic began.

New COVID-19 cases in the ACT have fallen to 299. Yesterday, 323 new cases were recorded. However, authorities continue to urge caution, particularly with large numbers of interstate visitors descending on the capital in recent days to protest vaccine mandates.

The impact of schools returning and people returning to work will also likely lead to increasing case numbers, Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said.

There are now 57 people in hospital, including two in intensive care and one requiring ventilation.

Yesterday, there were 60 patients in hospital, including two in ICU and one being ventilated.

The latest cases have been identified by 123 positive PCR results and 176 rapid antigen tests, taking the number of active cases in the ACT to 2406 (1334 PCR and 1072 RAT).

The ACT’s full vaccination rate is stable at 98.6 per cent, while 73.1 per cent of residents aged 5 to 11 have received one dose.

ACT Health says 54.7 per cent of residents aged 16 and over have received a booster dose.

All of the ACT’s PCR testing clinics have short wait times – less than 30 minutes at each – and turnaround times for test results are also short.

Ms Stephen-Smith urged anyone with symptoms to come forward and get tested.

COVID-19 testing

ACT Government testing clinics are easy to access with wait times of less than 30 minutes. Photo: ACT Health.

As the ACT has a double-vaccination rate of almost 99 per cent, authorities are somewhat concerned that unvaccinated people continue to be disproportionately represented in the hospitalisation and ICU figures.

According to ACT Health, “due to the relatively small number of weekly hospital and ICU admissions in the ACT and the high and increasing community vaccination coverage, it is difficult to identify trends by vaccination status”.

However, national and larger jurisdictional datasets reveal that while the overall number of vaccinated cases admitted to hospital has increased during the Omicron wave, in line with growing community transmission, the percentage of cases with severe health outcomes and death is much higher among those who are not vaccinated or who have not completed the recommended vaccine schedule, compared with fully vaccinated people,” ACT Health’s report read.

In January, 11 people died with COVID-19 in the ACT. Three people died in their 90s, four in their 80s, one in their 60s and two in their 50s, while one person died in their 40s.

ACT Health authorities have been extremely reluctant to make the vaccination status of people who die with COVID-19 public, despite other states releasing this information regularly, as well as information about underlying health conditions.

However, it’s now being reported that five of these people had received two doses of a vaccine, two had received one dose and two were unvaccinated.

A total of 22 people were admitted to hospital in January – 12 patients had received two doses, three patients had received three doses and seven were unvaccinated.

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Interstate, case numbers continue to fall.

NSW has reported 14 deaths overnight and 7437 new cases (3917 RAT and 3520 PCR).

There are 2099 people in hospital and 137 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported seven deaths overnight and an additional 8275 cases of COVID-19 from 5967 RATs and 2308 PCR tests.

There are now 638 people hospitalised with the virus.

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