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ACT records 32 new COVID-19 cases

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The ACT has recorded 32 new cases in the latest reporting period, with at least 19 of them infectious while in the community.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said 24 of the new cases are linked to current exposure sites or identified close contacts, with only eight in quarantine while infectious.

Mr Barr said “the most concerning element for us now” is the number of people who were infectious while out in public.

Ten people are in hospital in Canberra, with two people in intensive care and one requiring ventilation.

“Our thoughts and our love go to those families who have loved ones in intensive care. It must be extremely, extremely difficult,” said Mr Barr.

The youngest person in hospital with COVID is under 16 years of age.

More than 2500 people were tested on Friday with some pop up clinics due to close on Saturday because of the poor weather.

The chief minister again urged people to get vaccinated and told reporters he expects 70 per cent of Canberrans will have received their first dose by Sunday.

Mr Barr expects Canberra will net around 65,000 Pfizer vaccines as part of Australia’s four million dose swap with the UK.

The nation’s capital will receive about a week-and-a-half’s worth of Pfizer jabs under the deal.

Year 12 students and their teachers will also get priority access to the vaccines from Monday ahead of exams.

This stems from more than 8000 doses allocated to the ACT as part of a separate and smaller federal vaccine swap with Singapore.

Other teachers and early childhood educators in Canberra will be able to book in for Pfizer jabs in coming weeks.

With the additional new cases the number of active infections in the nation’s capital sits at 287.

Mr Barr is optimistic the territory’s vaccination rate will exceed 90 per cent.

He blasts as “madness” commentary about reopening the country once 70 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated, given the scale of NSW’s outbreak.

-AAP