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Authorities fear decline in Canberra COVID testing

Facemasks are everywhere in Canberra, even on these statues of John Curtin and Ben Chifley. Photo: AAP
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The ACT has reported 33 new coronavirus cases, 24 of which are linked to known infections or ongoing clusters.

As of Sunday there were 16 COVID-19 patients in ACT hospitals, including nine in intensive care.

While the daily tally is comfortably below recent highs of more than 50 cases, ACT Health warned there has been a noticeable drop in the number of people getting tested.

It said while on Saturday October 9 there were more than 3500 tests undertaken, only 1508 tests were collected on Saturday October 16.

It said part of the drop in numbers is because of the recent changes to the way exposure locations are now classified.

However, ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said it was still an important reminder to Canberrans to continue coming forward for testing.

“Testing remains a vital step in the way we manage COVID-19, especially now that we have eased restrictions,” Dr Coleman said.

“We are strongly urging Canberrans to continue to get tested with the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms and as soon as symptoms start.

“While the risk is lower, it is important everyone remembers that even if fully vaccinated, you can still contract COVID-19 and pass it on to others, especially to those who are unvaccinated.”

The ACT started easing lockdown restrictions last Friday.

-AAP