The ACT has recorded 1329 new COVID-19 infections in the last reporting period to 8 pm yesterday as ACT Health confirms cases continued to rise in the last week, driven by an increase in the BA.5 Omicron subvariant.
In the week ending Sunday, 26 June, one-third of sequenced cases were of the BA.5 sub-variant of Omicron.
Some research suggests BA.5 is “sticky”, and is also more contagious than previous strains, making it more effective at infecting people who have had previous strains
ACT Health confirmed in its latest weekly epidemiological report that case numbers are expected to increase.
A total of 6917 new cases were recorded throughout the week compared to 5985 in the previous reporting period.
The seven-day rolling case mean (PCR and RATs) increased to 800-900 cases per day, up from 700-800 in the week prior.
Two per cent of all reported cases in the week were individuals who had previously contracted COVID-19. ACT Health expects this percentage to increase as BA.5 takes over and natural immunity wanes.
PCR testing also increased to 15,600 tests from 13,012 in the previous week. Almost one in every four people who were tested for COVID-19 (24 per cent) returned a positive result.
This was again an increase on the previous few weeks where test positivity has remained between 22 and 23 per cent.
Throughout the week, 30 new hospital admissions were reported to Health, compared to 51 new admissions in the previous week.
That figure had previously been reported as 32 but has since been corrected.
Only one person was admitted to the ICU.
ACT Health has now combined its COVID-19 and influenza surveillance reports.
Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases, flu cases are declining. In the last week, Health received 139 notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza.
Flu cases remain consistently highest in the 5 to 9 age group.
Unlike COVID-19, neither reporting nor testing for the flu is mandatory.
With the 1329 (780 PCR and 549 RAT) cases recorded overnight, there are now 7204 active infections in the Territory.
A total of 158,826 (95,210 PCR and 63,616 RAT) COVID-19 cases have been recorded since the pandemic began in March 2020.
As of yesterday, the double-dose vaccination rate for the ACT’s five-plus population was 97.4 per cent and 77.3 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have received a booster.
Of ACT residents aged five to 11, 68.9 per cent had received two doses of vaccine.
Interstate, NSW has reported 20 deaths overnight and 11,085 new cases of COVID-19.
Victoria has reported 13 deaths overnight and 6,424 cases of COVID-19.