News State ACT News No early end to ACT lockdown, with nine more cases
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No early end to ACT lockdown, with nine more cases

canberra outbreak
Andrew Barr will not make the "bold prediction" ACT's COVID cases will return to zero by October 15. Photo: AAP
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The ACT has recorded another nine coronavirus infections, bringing its outbreak to 176 cases including seven people in hospital.

This includes an unvaccinated woman in her 40s requiring ventilation.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr has ruled out ending the ACT’s lockdown before September 2.

“Now is not the time to be significantly easing restrictions,” he said on Wednesday.

Whether lockdown lifts in eight days depends on the number of people infectious in the community and whether all cases can be linked.

“We will come out of this gently, week by week as we continue to get our vaccination rate up,” Mr Barr said.

He said he didn’t expect Australia to reach its key 80 per cent vaccination threshold until the end of November.

“The challenge for Canberra is how many more of us can we protect through vaccination between now and then,” he said.

“The race is on. Please get vaccinated as soon as you can.”

However, Mr Barr foreshadowed movement across borders being much more free in December and into 2022.

Among the ACT’s latest infections is a person with a disability.

This takes the number of cases in that sector to 18, including support workers.

Of the territory’s nine infections on Wednesday, eight are linked. That includes two household contacts of existing cases.

Four people were infectious while in the community.

Three others were in quarantine the whole time and the isolation status of two others remained unclear.

Some of ACT’s seven hospital patients with the virus are there for other health conditions.

The unvaccinated woman was “very unwell” and the jab status of the remaining patients remained unclear.

Transmission of the virus is confirmed at 10 locations across the territory.

Of the overall cases, 38 per cent are in children and 46 per cent are in adults under the age of 45.

Health officials still haven’t figured out a source for eight cases including one that sparked the lockdown.

-AAP