ACT reports record 992 COVID-19 cases

A self-reporting system for RATs has been introduced as the ACT records 1078 new COVID-19 cases.

A self-reporting system for RATs has been introduced as the ACT records 1078 new COVID-19 cases. Photo: AAP

A Canberra man in his 20s has died in a New South Wales hospital from COVID-19, as the ACT reported a record 992 daily infections.

The man died at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, according to NSW health officials.

He had received two vaccine doses and had no underlying health conditions, and was one of six deaths reported in the state on Thursday.

It comes as the ACT reported 992 new cases on Thursday, the highest one-day total since the pandemic began.

The territory’s chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman previously said it would only be a matter of time before daily cases in Canberra top 1000.

Twenty people are in hospital with the virus in the ACT, including two in intensive care on ventilation.

There were 2311 negative tests reported from government clinics in the capital in the 24 hours to 9 am on Thursday.

There are 3565 active cases in the Canberra community.

It comes as new changes came into effect on Thursday in the ACT, which had changed the definition for contacts.

Chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said contacts of cases will now be classified as high, medium or low risk.

Positive cases will still need to do seven days of quarantine along with household contacts.

A high-risk contact — someone who has spent a considerable amount of time at home with a positive case — will also need to undergo quarantine and get a PCR test.

A contact who has been with a positive case at a place such as a restaurant or bar for a few hours will be classified as medium risk, and will need to have a rapid test plus another one six days after.

A low-risk contact – someone who has only spent a short amount of time with a positive case — will only need to monitor for symptoms.

But discretion has been left up to Canberrans with grey areas between risk thresholds.

With rising cases in the national capital, the ACT government will re-establish a mass vaccination clinic at Canberra Airport in late January.

The clinic will be used as part of the territory’s rollout of booster doses.

The latest vaccination figures have shown 18.9 per cent of ACT residents 18 and over have received their booster doses.

More than 32,000 booster doses will be administered each week across the airport clinic and the pre-existing mass clinic at the Australian Institute of Sport.

The number of doses per week will be higher than the levels seen at the peak of Canberra’s vaccine drive during the ACT’s lockdown last year.


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