ACT records 40 new coronavirus cases, 21 linked to known infections

Health authorities confirmed the number of cases associated with a cluster at the Centenary Hospital special care nursery remains at five, with no new infections diagnosed.

The nursery outbreak also includes two babies, with both being transferred to a pediatric ward.

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There are also five babies who have been identified as close contacts and are in quarantine.

Investigations are continuing into the source of the outbreak, but a hospital worker who has tested positive was directly caring for one of the babies who later developed symptoms.

The hospital worker was fully vaccinated.

There are now 16 COVID cases in ACT hospitals, with six of them in intensive care and five on a ventilator.

The rise in cases has prompted a surge in testing, with more than 4,800 conducted on Thursday, the highest daily testing figure for almost two months.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said second doses of vaccines are now outpacing first doses, with 68 per cent of residents over 12 now fully vaccinated.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith speaks to the media during a COVID-19 update

Source: AAP

The ACT’s lockdown is set to end on 15 October, but health authorities have confirmed Canberra won’t ease its restrictions before then, despite the NSW government dropping more restrictions from Monday.

Australian Medical Association ACT branch president Walter Abhayaratna said the changes in NSW would bring confusion for those living in communities near the NSW-ACT border.

“It would not hurt for people in Queanbeyan working in the ACT to have clarity,” he told ABC radio on Friday.

“What we have got to ensure is that (ACT hospitals) have the capacity to meet demand with COVID infections in hospitals for people who need care.”

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