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Second baby linked to ACT hospital cluster

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ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith says 28 people from the hospital have been furloughed. Photo: ABC News/Matt Roberts
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The ACT has confirmed another 41 virus cases, including a second baby infected at a Canberra hospital.

There are now five cases associated with a cluster at the Centenary Hospital special care nursery, after the first baby was identified as having the virus on Tuesday night.

Health authorities have said the cluster included two babies and Canberra Hospital team members, along with two carers who had visited the ward.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said work was ongoing to identify the source of the outbreak.

“There are 28 team members who are unable to work as a result of this exposure,” Ms Stephen-Smith said on Thursday.

“I’d like to reassure Canberrans that this is being expertly handled.”

Of the latest 41 cases, 14 are linked with known cases and 24 are under investigation.

There were five that were infectious in the community and seven who were quarantining for their entire infectious period.

Ms Stephen-Smith said health authorities were notified of several new cases late on Wednesday.

However, she said it was likely many of the late cases will be able to be linked to known outbreaks.

The number of COVID cases in hospital is now at 15, with seven in intensive care and six of those on ventilators.

While visitors are restricted at ACT hospitals due to COVID-19, rules are slightly more relaxed in the special care nursery due to parents needing to come in to provide care.

The ACT is at 96 per cent of its eligible residents having a first COVID vaccine.

Canberra’s lockdown is set to end on October 15.

-AAP