27 May 2022

COVID-19 infections trend downwards in all age groups; more schools go remote

| Lottie Twyford
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Palmerston District Primary School

Year 1 and 2 students at Palmerston District Primary School will learn from home for over a week due to staff shortages. Photo: Screenshot.

Two more ACT public schools have moved to partial remote learning as ACT Health’s latest epidemiological report shows infections trending downwards across all age groups.

Students in Years 3 to 6 at Mount Rogers Primary School and the Year 1 and 2 cohorts at Palmerston District Primary School will be at home for the next week before returning to school on Monday, 6 June.

They join their peers at Caroline Chisholm, Gowrie, Namadgi and Mount Stromlo schools – all of which have sent some cohorts home in response to staff shortages.

As flu cases increase and COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community, it’s expected these sorts of temporary adjustments to school operations will continue.

Despite concerns about what the winter ahead will hold, the latest situation update from the Territory’s health directorate showed 6326 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the week ending 22 May compared to 7191 in the previous week.

Cases decreased across every age group – including school-aged children aged between 0 and 17. Authorities had previously expressed concern about cases increasing steadily in this age group since mid-April.

The largest decrease was recorded in the 25 to 39 age group, which still accounted for 27.5 per cent of all cases reported in the week.

Hospital admissions also decreased throughout the week, with 18 people admitted to hospital compared with 47 in the previous week.

The average age for these admissions was 56 years old (with a range from 0 to 89), but the report said hospitalisations continue to be highest in the older age group (65-plus).

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The 849 (397 PCR and 452 RAT) new infections reported overnight take the total number of active infections in the Territory to 4915 (2592 PCR and 2323 RAT).

A total of 129,263 (78,953 PCR and 50,310 RAT) COVID-19 cases have been recorded since the pandemic began in March 2020.

There are now 83 people hospitalised with the virus and three people are in the ICU, including one being ventilated.

Yesterday, 85 people were hospitalised with COVID-19 and the Territory recorded 911 new infections.

Canberra Health Services Executive Director of Cancer and Ambulatory Support Cathie O’Neill told Region Media yesterday it’s important to note the headline hospitalisation figure covers both active and cleared infections, including people in hospital for non-COVID reasons.

In reality, CHS is caring for around 25 active COVID-19 cases at a time.

The double-dose vaccination rate for the ACT’s five-plus population remains 97.2 per cent and 76.4 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have now received a booster.

Of ACT residents aged five to 11, 67.8 per cent have received two doses of vaccine.

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Interstate, NSW has reported nine deaths overnight and 8690 new cases of COVID-19.

There are now 1173 people in hospital with the virus and 34 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported nine deaths overnight and 11,369 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 571 people hospitalised with the virus, while 33 patients are in the state’s intensive care units.

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