ACT Health has confirmed four new cases of COVID-19 in the Territory, bringing the ACT’s total to 91.
The new cases consist of two males and two females aged between 31 and 59 who had either returned from overseas or are close contacts of previously confirmed cases.
ACT Health has not been able to identify the transmission source of one positive case but investigations are continuing.
“While we have so far been unable to identify a source of transmission, investigations will continue and are likely to take until late next week before they are completed,” the ACT’s Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said.
“The individual did not have any recent history of travel outside of Canberra, and we so far haven’t been able to identify contact with a known case.
“We consider that there is a low likelihood this case indicates community transmission in the ACT, but it cannot be ruled out at this stage.”
The results are not expected until later next week.
A total of 18 people have recovered from the virus. Nine people remain in ACT hospitals and two are in intensive care.
Dr Coleman also announced that testing would be expanded as demand from overseas travellers and close contacts begins to decline, allowing testing resources to be used elsewhere.
“Starting Monday, a random selection of people who would otherwise not meet the criteria will now be tested at the Weston Creek Walk-in-Centre and at the drive-through testing station at EPIC,” an ACT Health spokesperson said.
There have been 5,000 negative tests to date but the ACT is still actively looking for cases of community transmission , Dr Coleman said.
“We have already been watching closely the test results from members of the community who have no history of overseas travel or contact with known confirmed cases. This includes tests of symptomatic healthcare and aged-care workers, as well as people who live and work in high-risk settings,” she said.
“Given we have not seen community transmission in these groups we are confident that the physical distancing and increased hygiene measures are helping slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
“This increased surveillance will help us gain an even better insight into the effectiveness of our efforts to flatten the curve.”
However, Dr Coleman said she would not advise the community to flood testing centres, saying people should still look at the testing criteria before presenting themselves.
Having a test if you do not meet the criteria would be of very little value, and would add to the drain of the ACT’s finite amount of resources and testing capacity, Dr Coleman said, as Australia faces a shortage of testing swabs.
For all information about the health and economic response to the pandemic in the ACT please visit www.covid19.act.gov.au.
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.