5 May 2020

Further investigation sees COVID-19 cases fall to 102 in the ACT

| Dominic Giannini
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Acting Chief Health Officer, Dr Vanessa Johnston

Acting Chief Health Officer, Dr Vanessa Johnston, has confirmed there have been no new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend. Photo: Dominic Giannini, Region Media.

No new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed over the Easter weekend so far (11-12 April), according to ACT Health.

However, the total number of positive cases has decreased by one to 102 after a previously confirmed case was determined not to have had the virus.

“ACT Health has taken a very precautionary approach to classifying indeterminate tests that indicate a probable positive result,” a spokesperson said.

“In cases where the clinical history and an indeterminate test result indicate they are more likely to be a case than not, the individual is classified as a confirmed case until further investigation and testing can provide a more definitive result.

“Where further testing definitively determines the individual does not have COVID-19, the case is reclassified as a negative result.”

Three cases remain in hospital across the ACT as the remainder continue to isolate at home with the support of ACT Health.

Two cases remain under investigation. Two people have died from the virus to date while 6,159 tests returned negative results.

Acting ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Vanessa Johnston thanked Canberrans for their efforts in helping flatten the curve but has again reminded the community of the need to continue the good work throughout the Easter break.

“Our actions are creating meaningful impact and Canberrans should be proud of their continued efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. We must stay on track and not fall in the trap of becoming complacent,” Dr Johnston said.

“Please remain vigilant and stay home for the remainder of this Easter long weekend. Do not travel to the coast or interstate or gather in large groups with family and friends.”

The ACT Government has established a dedicated COVID-19 website and helpline for all information about the health and economic response to the pandemic in the ACT. For further information visit www.covid19.act.gov.au or call the helpline on 02 6207 7244 between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm daily.

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.

For details on how the ACT stats compare to other jurisdictions across Australia visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

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As there are only 102 cases and the infection rate is falling then the ACT government’s $23 million pop-up emergency department for coronavirus patients to be set up on the Garran oval is an unnecessary and very expensive over-reaction.

I wouldn’t be critical of that decision. It’s better to over provide capacity than under provide and at the time the decision was taken the trend was upwards. It may well still spike up again. We don’t really know. If it’s there now, it might as well be used to provide improved throughput in the ED during the winter flu season.

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