5 May 2020

Nine new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Canberra, one in ICU

| Michael Weaver
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Drive-through testing

The coronavirus drive-through testing centre at Exhibition Park. Photo: Region Media.

UPDATED 4:50 pm

The ACT has recorded nine new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the Territory’s total number of confirmed cases to 62.

Three males and six females aged between 21 and 73 have returned a positive result, but there is still no evidence of community transmissions in Canberra, Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said.

Five people remain in hospital because of the virus, one is in intensive care and four are in a stable condition.

Just under 3,700 people have tested negative to the virus and two people have made a full recovery in the ACT.

ACT Health is undertaking thorough contact tracing but can confirm that seven of the cases are linked to overseas travel, including cruise ships, and two are close contacts of confirmed cases.

However, there are no cases from unknown transmission sources, Dr Coleman said.

“While it is inevitable we will have some level of community transmission, we need to work hard as a community to minimise its impact when it does happen,” she said.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith also introduced a number of changes to social-distancing regulations in relation to maternity, paediatric and community-based services.

Only one person will be allowed to support a person in labour under the new regulations, and this person will become the designated visitor for the duration of the woman’s stay in hospital.

Antenatal classes and other group sessions will now be provided in an online format; however, routine antenatal appointments will continue for now. Further changes may be made as the situation continues to evolve, ACT Health said.

“An early pregnancy and parenting phone line is being established to support early pregnancy, maternal and child health, breastfeeding and emotional wellbeing concerns,” an ACT Health spokesperson said.

Children have also been told to stay away from hospital visits unless it is absolutely necessary, and access to all Canberra Health Services sites, including the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, will be limited to one visitor a day for each person.

For the latest information and a full list of flights and travel details of people that have tested positive for the virus, visit the ACT Health website.

People who are concerned and want further information on the virus can also call the Australian Government’s 24-hour Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

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