26 September 2023

Easter actions prompt virus warning

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The ACT’s Chief Health Officer, Kerryn Coleman has cautioned against complacency following an Easter long weekend with just one new case of COVID-19 detected in the Territory.

Dr Coleman (pictured, centre) said that while the Easter result was comforting, the community needed to maintain its social distancing restrictions.

“While the ACT only recorded one new case, which is obviously good news, we did see a drop off in people presenting for testing over the Easter long weekend,” Dr Coleman said.

“What we really need now from the community is to continue with the physical distancing and excellent hand and respiratory hygiene that has helped us keep our numbers so low so far.”

She said an expansion of testing of symptomatic people who didn’t otherwise meet the criteria had not impacted on testing numbers.

“Even with our increased surveillance, through testing symptomatic people who otherwise don’t meet the criteria, we still had a lower number of tests overall than we usually see,” Dr Coleman said.

“Other Australian jurisdictions also experienced a drop in people presenting for testing over the Easter long weekend, but we expect this to start to increase again this week.”

She said Canberra’s health service was ready for any surge in cases.

“I do expect to see more cases in Canberra and the ACT health system is prepared for that eventuality,” she said.

“We constantly review our testing criteria to ensure it is appropriate for the current stage of the pandemic and will continue to do so.”

Dr Coleman said there had been three deaths from COVID-19 in the ACT and three patients were currently being treated in Canberra hospitals.

“ACT Health is continuing to take appropriate public health action in line with national guidelines,” she said.

“It’s important for Canberrans to remain calm and keep informed, and to keep focussed on the practical things we can all do to protect ourselves, our families and the most vulnerable in our community,” the Chief Health Officer said.

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