1 July 2020

UPDATED: ACT records new COVID-19 case

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Dr Kerryn Coleman

Dr Kerryn Coleman says the new case is a reminder that the pandemic is not over yet. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

UPDATED 3 pm: ACT Health has issued a correction regarding the date of the ACT’s last COVID-19 diagnosis. The date should have read May 4.

June 7: The ACT has recorded its first new case of COVID-19 since the end of April, ACT Health said today.

A man in his 40’s who has recently returned from overseas has tested positive for the disease in the last 24 hours. The man has been in quarantine since his return from international travel and health authorities say that a small number of close contacts have been identified and are now also in quarantine as a consequence. This is in line with national COVID-19 guidelines.

The diagnosis brings the number of COVID-19 cases in the ACT to 108. Three deaths have been recorded and all other patients have recovered. There are no COVID-19 patients in Canberra hospitals and 20,379 negative tests have been carried out in the ACT.

The new case will be recorded as having been acquired overseas and Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said she was confident that there has been no risk to the broader ACT community.

“The case is, however, a good reminder of the ongoing pandemic and the need for our community to continue to observe physical distancing and hygiene measures, and for people to stay home if they are unwell”, she said.

Dr Coleman added that the case is also a demonstration of how important it is for the ACT to maintain a high level of testing in the community as restrictions begin to ease and people begin moving more freely.

“Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should attend one of our testing centres to be tested”, she said

“We expect that as restrictions are lifted and the movement of people around Australia increases, it is likely that cases will continue to be diagnosed around Australia, including in the ACT. The ACT will continue to have a strong and rapid public health response to any new cases,” said Dr Coleman.

The message from ACT Health continues to be that while restrictions have eased, our responsibilities as a community haven’t. Staying at home as much as possible and avoiding large crowds is still the best way to protect yourself, and your family, from any potential risk of infection.

“We know people are eager to leave their homes and it is understandable that people want to get out and about, however we must remember that it only takes one person with COVID-19 to come into contact with others to create a cluster and potentially start a new wave of COVID-19.

“We don’t want to go backwards so it is important people don’t become complacent or careless with their actions”, Dr Coleman said.

It is still important to avoid large crowds and gather in groups of no more than 10 people, to keep 1.5 metres apart whenever possible; to continue good hand and respiratory hygiene; and to stay home if you are unwell and get tested if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

The ACT Government has a dedicated COVID-19 website for all information about the health and economic response to the pandemic in the ACT. You can also contact the COVID-19 Helpline on 02 6207 7244 between 8 am and 8 pm daily.

People who are concerned and want further information on the virus, can also call the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Original Article published by Genevieve Jacobs on The RiotACT.

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