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ACT records 26 new virus cases

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The ACT has recorded 26 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, a number of them still under investigation.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr says there are now 237 virus cases within the territory in total, with four now fully recovered.

Twenty of the 26 infections recorded in the 24 hours to Friday evening have been linked to existing outbreak cases.

ACT Chief Health Officer Kerry Coleman says 15 of the latest cases were in quarantine while infectious, seven were in the community for at least part of time and four are under investigation.

The ACT is hoping to crack the 80 per cent full vaccination mark with the opening of a mass clinic next week.

The AIS Arena clinic will replace the centre at Garran on September 3, delivering as many as 24,000 Pfizer shots a week depending on supply.

Canberra already has the best vaccination rate in the country, ticking over 40 per cent on Friday.

Mr Barr has described the vaccination program as the government’s single-biggest priority over the next three months.

“Our target is not 80 per cent of the eligible population being vaccinated – we are aiming for much more than that,” he said on Friday.

“The government, in partnership with local GPs and pharmacies, will be doing everything we can to provide vaccines to all eligible Canberrans – including 12 to 15 year olds.”

Bookings made at the Garran centre will be automatically transferred to the new AIS Arena clinic.

The ACT government also revised lockdown restrictions for some businesses on Friday as it weighed up whether to come out of lockdown next week.

Canberra recorded 21 new coronavirus infections on Friday.

Of those, 11 were in hospital including a child under the age of 12.

Six of those cases were in the community while infectious and 15 were linked.

Cases over coming days will be used to decide whether to end Canberra’s lockdown on Thursday as scheduled.

In the meantime, small and non-essential retailers are able to have two people on site for the purpose of contactless delivery, and click and collect orders.

Large essential retailers, such as shops selling hardware and building supplies, are restricted to delivery or click and collect for all but trade customers.

The change follows concern over the number of people heading to Bunnings, which racked up 19,000 check-ins in a single day.

Construction work is also set to restart gradually from Friday.

-AAP