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‘Simply too high’: Alarm as ACT cases spike

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The ACT has recorded 25 new cases of COVID-19, with at 22 in the community for some time. Photo: Getty
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Canberra’s local COVID cases have spiked to 30, as some residential construction sites in the territory are shut down for “unforgivable” public health breaches.

Of Friday’s cases, 19 were linked and most were household contacts of existing infections.

Just 12 were in quarantine throughout their infectious period, with at least 14 in the community for some of the time.

“Today is not the first time that we have seen new daily case numbers in the 30s,” ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said.

“It is too early to know if this is a one-off. But it is clear that this is not a good number.”

Mr Barr said Friday’s new infection tally was “simply too high”.

“Today serves as a timely reminder that, every time you are out in the community and you are close to other people, there is a risk that you will become infected, whether you are vaccinated or not,” he said.

“COVID-safe measures like physical distancing, hand hygiene and masks are essential to protect yourself.”

He also called significant breaches of public health restrictions reported at residential construction sites “unforgivable”.

“It’s simply not good enough. And the sites have been shut down,” he said.

Despite the jump in local infections, the territory is going ahead with some minor changes to lockdown rules. They come into effect on Saturday and include:

  • Local small businesses operating click-and-collect or click-and-delivery will be able to have up to five employees on site to process orders;
  • Motor vehicles purchased prior to the lockdown will be able to be collected in a COVID-safe way through local car dealerships
  • Real estate agents will be able to conduct pre-booked inspections for residential and commercial properties, but with no more than two people.

Canberra’s vaccination rate keeps ticking up, with 76.3 per cent of the eligible population having had a first dose and 52.3 per cent fully vaccinated.

There are eight people in ACT hospitals with COVID, including one in intensive care on a ventilator.

-with AAP