There have been five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ACT in the past 24 hours, bringing the ACT’s total to 84. Three more people have been hospitalised with the virus, bringing the total to nine, while two remain in intensive care.
However, eight people have now fully recovered from the virus and have been released from self-isolation.
ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman continues to say that there is no evidence of community transmission but is warning that it is likely at some point.
“We are in a good position here in the ACT, but we will soon see some level of community transmission,” she said.
“We are expecting to see this sooner rather than later which is why it is important that we all work together to slow the spread.”
The new cases consist of three males and two females, aged between 27 and 79. Four of the new cases are linked to overseas travel, including on cruise ships, and one is a close contact of a previously confirmed case.
ACT Health says that they are still investigating one case, although they announced yesterday that another case had been dismissed as COVID-19 after further investigation.
A total of eight people have recovered from COVID-19 and have been released from self-isolation. The rest are isolating at home with ACT Health support. One person has died from the virus.
The increase in hospitalisations is a combination of the virus’ severity, the age of the patient and how long it takes them to recover, and whether they would be able to safely quarantine at home, Dr Coleman said.
“As the evidence shows, if people are going to progress to a more severe illness, it does happen in the second week and when elderly people get unwell they take a lot longer to recover,” she said.
“There are also issues of being able to protect vulnerable household members from cases while they are still infectious and where we can do that at the moment by keeping them in hospital, we are doing that.”
“But soon we will not be able to do that anymore so we are taking a look at how we can protect those vulnerable members in households from people who are still infectious.”
There have been 4,774 negative COVID-19 tests in the ACT to date.
ACT Health is continuing to take appropriate public health action in line with national guidelines and says it has taken a precautionary approach to classify indeterminate tests that indicate a probable positive result.
“In cases where the indeterminate tests indicate it is more likely to be positive than not, the individual has been classified as a confirmed case until further testing can provide a more definitive result. As with other confirmed cases, thorough contact tracing is undertaken,” a statement from ACT Health says.
“Where further testing definitively determines the individual to not have COVID-19, the case is reclassified as a negative result.”
People who are concerned and want further information on the virus should visit the ACT Government’s COVID-19 website, or call the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For details on how the ACT statistics compare to other jurisdictions across Australia, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website. This information is updated daily.