ACT records 13 new cases of COVID-19, as territory braces for another month of lockdown



The ACT has recorded 13 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 as the territory endures what Chief Minister Andrew Barr says is one of the “toughest moments” in Canberra’s history.Key points:Eight of today’s new cases were infectious in the community The ACT will today mark 75 per cent of people over 12 years of age vaccinated with one doseHealth authorities say they are concerned there are undiscovered cases in the communityAt least eight of the new cases spent some time infectious in the community.Five of the new cases are yet to be linked to a known case or transmission site. The remaining eight cases are all household contacts of a known case.Seven people are now in hospital with the virus — one of those is in intensive care and requires ventilation.Yesterday the ACT government announced the territory would remain in lockdown for another four weeks.ACT vaccination rates remain strongSpace to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.WatchDuration: 3 minutes 3 seconds3m 3s ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr announces the territory has recorded 13 new cases of COVID-19.ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said yesterday was another strong day of vaccinations for the territory. “Today we will reach 75 per cent of the population aged 12 and over with at least one dose of a vaccine,” Mr Barr said.”This number will continue to grow in the coming weeks, with around 70,000 people still waiting on a first dose through an ACT government clinic.”Mr Barr said 12-15-year-olds would be able to book for a Pfizer vaccination at ACT government clinics from next week. “Soon we will have administered first doses to everyone who wants one. And then the balance of the vaccination program will shift to second doses – and it will significantly pick up pace,” he said.”When the nation moves forward with the national plan and crosses the 70 per cent vaccination threshold in mid-late October, and the 80 per cent vaccination threshold in early-mid November, the ACT’s vaccination program will put our city in a very strong position to gradually reopen.”We will support the work that is being undertaken nationally and locally to achieve a COVID-normal life as soon as is possible.”But Mr Barr acknowledged yesterday’s announcement that the lockdown would be extended was difficult to hear for some Canberrans.”This is one of the toughest moments in our city’s history, and I want people to know it is okay to reach out and ask for help if you need it,” Mr Barr said.”There will be better times ahead for Canberra.”Our vaccination milestones are in sight, and our objective through all of this is to keep our community safe and to work towards a safe and happy Christmas, and summer holiday period for everyone.” ACT health authorities say they are concerned that there are unidentified cases of COVID-19 out in the community. (ABC News: Ian Cutmore)Unknown cases still out in community, health authorities sayACT Deputy Chief Health Officer Vanessa Johnston said due to a large number of unlinked cases, it was likely there were cases in the community that had not been found.”We are still seeing people infectious in the community, some of whom are attending essential work while infectious,” Mr Barr said.“If we were to relax our restrictions now, we risk this outbreak rapidly escalating when not enough of us are vaccinated and therefore we would see a proportion of cases with severe disease outcomes including hospitalisation, ICU admissions and even death.”Dr Johnston said it was important Canberrans stayed the course over the next few months.”We all acknowledge and respect that lockdown is hard, and acknowledge the sentiment in the community and the disappointment after yesterday’s announcement,” she said.”If we continue to do the right thing now, if we stay the course, we’ll be in a much stronger position to come out of the lockdown in the weeks to come.”More to come.



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