29 April 2022

New COVID-19 infections stay above 1000; Health omits some vax data citing privacy concerns

| Lottie Twyford
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COVID-19 testing

The ACT has recorded 1072 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8 pm yesterday. Photo: ACT Health.

ACT Health has been required to omit some information from its latest weekly epidemiological report (week ending 24 April), citing privacy concerns.

According to the explanatory statement, the vaccination status of people who died with COVID-19 during the week will not be included in the report if that number is less than five.

“ACT Health must balance the importance of transparency with its legal and ethical obligations to maintain the confidentiality of the personal health information of individuals. As such, not all data tables are updated every week if the count difference between the weeks is fewer than five and if there is a chance of individuals being identified,” it read.

Canberra Hospital

Hospitalisations declined in the week ending 24 April after a period of steady increases. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

During the week, one person died with the virus while 27 people were admitted to hospital and three people to the ICU.

Hospitalisations decreased in the week after a period of steady increases, the report said. A total of 38 people had been admitted to hospital in the previous week.

Of the 60 ICU admissions since 1 January 2022, 17 had received three doses of the vaccine, 25 had received two doses of the vaccine, two had received a single dose of vaccine, 14 were unvaccinated and the vaccination status for the remaining two people is unknown.

“For the Omicron subvariant, three doses of vaccine appears to provide the greatest protection against severe disease,” the report said.

Hospitalisations remain highest in the 65-plus age group.

This week, 6536 positive infections were reported to ACT Health. This was an increase on the previous week’s total of 6073.

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The rolling mean peaked at 906 cases per day throughout the reporting period and the biggest increase was seen in the 25-39 age group.

A large drop in the seven-day rolling average case rate has been seen for the 0 to 17 age group since mid-March. ACT Health said it will continue to monitor this trend with the return of students for term two.

Test positivity rates also increased to 22 to 24 per cent in this period, compared with 20 to 21 per cent in the previous week.

“An increasing positivity suggests higher transmission and that there are likely more people with coronavirus in the community who have not presented for testing. The focus in this phase of the pandemic is less on total case numbers and more on monitoring severe outcomes and the burden on the healthcare system,” the report read.

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In the 24 hours to 8 pm yesterday, 1072 new COVID-19 infections have been reported in the ACT.

There are now 65 people hospitalised with the virus. Three are in ICU but none are being ventilated.

The ACT recorded 1149 infections yesterday and there were 69 people in hospital.

The 1072 (556 PCR, 516 RAT) new infections take the total number of active cases to 5428 (2759 PCR and 2669 RAT).

Since the pandemic began, 103,220 (64,709 PCR and 38,511 RAT) cases of COVID-19 have been reported locally.

The double-dose vaccination rate for the ACT’s five-plus population is now 97 per cent and 75.2 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have now received a booster.

Of ACT residents aged five to 11, 65.2 per cent have received two doses of vaccine.

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Interstate, NSW has reported seven deaths overnight and 11,903 new cases of COVID-19.

There are now 1645 people in hospital with the virus and 68 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported seven deaths overnight and an additional 11,083 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 428 people hospitalised with the virus, while 35 patients are in the state’s intensive care units.

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