11 July 2022

COVID-19 cases could peak at 2000 to 3000 a day; 1143 infections, two deaths reported

| Lottie Twyford
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kerryn coleman

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman has warned daily caseloads could hit 2000 or even 3000 in the coming weeks. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

As the Territory records another day with a daily caseload north of 1000 and two more deaths, ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman issued a bleak warning: the worst is yet to come.

The death of a man in his 70s and a man in his 80s with COVID-19 overnight bring Canberra’s pandemic death toll to 84.

Speaking to reporters today, Dr Coleman said the current COVID-19 wave – driven by the spread of the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron – could peak with daily caseloads between 2000 and 3000.

But that modelling was based on a number of uncertainties, she said.

She said that this wave would peak at the end of July or early August.

As case numbers rise, hospitalisations will climb, with Dr Coleman envisaging these would peak around 200. Deaths are also expected to rise, coinciding with cases.

As health authorities have been warning for months, this winter’s wave is being complicated by the spread of other respiratory illnesses like RSV and influenza.

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The Chief Health Officer, who today held her first major press conference in months, called for personal responsibility rather than mandates and restrictions to manage this “really challenging” period.

The CHO said it would take the emergence of a much more severe strain of COVID-19 for authorities to reconsider implementing restrictions.

“We are not currently looking at mandates … but I am strongly urging everyone to do what you can to help minimise transmission,” she said.

“The coming wave of COVID-19 is serious and we all need to work together.”

Those actions include wearing masks in crowded settings, being up to date with vaccination, staying at home when ill, knowing whether you are eligible for antivirals and how to access them, avoiding high-risk settings when ill, and working from home if possible and practising good hand hygiene.

Dr Coleman suggested mandates were too heavy-handed and could result in negative outcomes. She said she expected Canberrans to step up and recognise the serious nature of the current period.

At midnight today, the reinfection period for COVID-19 will be reduced from 12 weeks to 28 days, in line with national advice.

That means a recovered person will be required to test for COVID-19 again if they develop symptoms and report a positive result 28 days after being cleared from their first infection.

The Territory’s health authorities expect this will drive an uptick in cases, but Dr Coleman said predicting how many people would catch the virus multiple times was next to impossible.

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Locally, there are now 136 patients in Canberra Hospital with the virus. Of these, five are in the ICU and two require ventilation.

There are now 7779 (4279 PCR and 3500 RAT) known active infections in the Territory.

A total of 170,946 (101,889 PCR and 69,057 RAT) COVID-19 cases have been recorded since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The double-dose vaccination rate for the ACT’s five-plus population remains 97.4 per cent and 77.5 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have received a booster.

Of ACT residents aged five to 11, 69.4 per cent have received two doses of vaccine.

READ ALSO BA.4, BA.5 are here and driving higher caseloads: here’s what you need to know

Interstate, NSW has reported eight deaths overnight and 7586 new cases of COVID-19.

There are now 2002 people in hospital with the virus and 63 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported no deaths overnight and 8689 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 717 people hospitalised with the virus and 30 patients are in the state’s intensive care units.

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Apparently the latest medical advice is for monthly booster shots. Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-11/sa-immune-period-for-covid-positive-cases-reduced-from-12-weeks-/101226156
You can’t even make this up. Oh no but we must not question the science or the doctors that prescribe our medicine!

@Sam Oak
While I never thought you were in the Mensa category of intellects, I you had the ability to comprehend what you read … apparently not! The article doesn’t change anything about booster shots – what it talks about is immunity from re-infection for those who have tested positive to COVID. (“Professor Spurrier said recommendations around booster shots were unchanged despite the immune period being reduced.”)

“You can’t even make this up.” Oh yes you can, Sam, because you just did.

Your lack of ability to think critically is disturbing JS. The corollary of scientists announcing that immunity wears off in 28 days is that you are not protected and will need a booster shot then. Otherwise why do we constantly need boosters after boosters. It was promised at the start it’d be 2 for full vaccination status. The goal posts have shifted and you’d be blind not to see it.

Perhaps you can explain, Sam Oak, what you don’t comprehend about the words “It’s three months between the first booster and the second or the winter booster dose and also three months from an infection.”” … in what universe does that translate into your statement that “immunity wears off in 28 days is that you are not protected and will need a booster shot then”?

The reduction in the immune period in the article, to which you provided the link, talks about a reduction in “reinfection” immunity from 12 weeks to 28 days. As the SA CMO says “”ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations) have been quite clear on this that it (the booster period) is a three-month period,” Professor Spurrier said.”

Yes, you are right on one thing, the goal posts have shifted, in relation to “reinfection immunity” – I see that. And yes, we do need boosters to combat COVID because the protection the vaccine affords isn’t permanent. Duh – that’s why their called boosters, Sam.

Sam Oak, no, that is not the corollary of scientists announcing that immunity wears off in 28 days. The statement said “BA.4 and BA.5 are associated with increased immune escape, and we are likely to see rates of reinfection rise among those who have previously been infected with an earlier COVID-19 variant and those who are up to date with their vaccinations.” Being repeatedly vaccinated with the same thing is not going to help with immune escape variants, which are able to evade the immunity stimulated by vaccination. New vaccines targeting the most recent variants would be needed to help with that, and we will always be playing catch-up.

Nothing a 4th or 5th jab won’t fix with it’s high level of protection from all viruses. Oh and don’t even think about skipping your 3 month boosters or you won’t be protected against “ severe illness, hospitalisations and death”!

CaptainSpiff5:44 pm 11 Jul 22

CHO is saying restrictions will not return, and that Covid is now mild enough that people should manage it on their own.

OK.

Why did it take 6 months since the arrival of Omicron, to figure this out?

It would have been better to let Omicron spread in the summer months earlier this year. Our public health experts have instead ensured we get a Covid wave cresting in winter, alongside what is already sure to be a severe flu season.

Huh? It did spread in the summer months. ‘The current COVID-19 wave [is] driven by the spread of the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron’ which wasn’t around during the summer and can re-infect people who’ve already had Covid.

CaptainSpiff9:44 am 13 Jul 22

Health policy here has been to slow the spread of Covid as much as possible, thus dragging the pandemic out longer.

It would have been much better to pull restrictions in the summer, so the virus could spread then, rather than now.

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