There are 11 people in Canberra’s hospitals with COVID-19, including one person in intensive care.
The ACT has reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, with the majority having spent time in the community while infectious.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said nine of the new cases were linked to known outbreaks or cases, while another two cases were under early investigation.
Three of the new cases had spent their entire infectious period in quarantine, while seven had spent some time in the community. Investigations were continuing into another case.
Seven of the new cases announced on Monday were household contacts.
Mr Barr said 11 people were in hospital with COVID-19, with one person in intensive care where they required ventilation.
There were 2488 tests completed on Sunday, Mr Barr said.
Deputy chief health officer Dr Vanessa Johnston said the testing rates were too low in the ACT.
“We want to see those over 3000 a day so that we’re detecting any transmission in the community early. This is going to help ourselves, our friends, our families the safest we can during this time, during this outbreak,” Dr Johnston said.
Dr Johnston said it was important people went straight to get tested when they had symptoms and did not stop for food or other supplies before or after a test.
“You may think that a quick trip through a drive-through or a quick stop off at Woolworths with a mask is without risk. But that’s not the case. It comes with risk, and will be potentially listed as another exposure location,” she said.
The new cases identified on Sunday bring the outbreak total in the ACT to 385 cases but 163 people have already recovered. There are 222 active cases in the ACT.
Chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman on Sunday said the vast majority of new cases would play out in the first seven days after the new exposure site times.
“As there’s more exposure sites, there is likely to be more cases that come out of that,” Dr Coleman said.
ACT Health is currently working with 1400 self identified close contacts across 330 active exposure sites.
There have been 14 public sites of transmission.
Mr Barr said the exposure sites were predominantly at essential retailers, which showed the balance that needed to be struck in a lockdown.
“The more movement of people, the more places that are open, the more likely they will be exposure sites, given the virus is in the community. This serves as an important cautionary tale about the gentle steps that will be needed as we begin to reopen economic activity,” Mr Barr said.
However, the Chief Minister warned Canberrans against spending much time in supermarkets.
“I wouldn’t be going every day. … I don’t think hanging around supermarkets is a particularly good idea at the moment. … Anytime you come near any other person, you’re putting yourself at risk,” he said.
The ACT had recorded 15 new cases to 8pm on Saturday, with 13 cases linked at the time of Sunday’s press conference. At least seven were infectious in the community.
Dr Coleman on Sunday said one in three people who tested positive for COVID had spent up to two days positive in the community, with many delaying tests while symptomatic.
“About one in three of our cases have waited for two days before getting tested after their symptoms have appeared,” she said.
The interval between the first and second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be shortened in the ACT in a move recognising the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the ACT outbreak.
The announcement follows a new vaccine milestone for the ACT, with more than 70 per cent of eligible people receiving their first dose.
Mr Barr said there was already evidence people were bringing forward their AstraZeneca appointments, which would mean more people were fully vaccinated sooner.
“I think this means the total vaccination program will be able to be completed more quickly,” he said.
Nearly 46 per cent of eligible Canberrans have now received two doses.
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