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Extensive testing exercise underway in Canberra after two patients tested positive to COVID 19

A Massive testing exercise is underway at Canberra Hospital way after two patients in a shared room returned positives for COVID-19.

ACT Health Services chief executive Dave Peffer watered down concerns by describing the incident as common.

“..this sort of incident” is not new, said Peffer.

Continued Peffer: “It has occurred more than 20 times in our healthcare facilities and we are prepared for it.”

The duration of the patients’ infectious condition is not known which is affecting the quality of contact tracing. Efforts are underway to find anyone outside the hospital who may have visited or interacted with them.

The patients were moved to COVID-19 designated ward on Friday.

ACT recorded 32 locally acquired infections on Saturday while 25 more tested positive on Sunday.

About 24 were infectious in the community, while seven were in quarantine.  about 26 were linked to previous cases.

As of Saturday, the territory had 233 active cases with 492 patients having recovered. Ten remained in Canberra hospitals, four of them in intensive care and three requiring ventilation.

Authorities said more than 2600 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to Friday evening, while almost 85 per cent of ACT residents had received a first vaccine dose and 58 per cent had been administered with two shots.

Nine patient cases also emerged at a Canberra aged care home on Saturday after two fully-vaccinated workers tested positive.

“What we know is that of the staff at the Calvary Haydon Retirement Community, 100 per cent have received their first dose and 53 per cent are fully vaccinated,” Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said.

“In this way, we are very assured that the progress of this outbreak will be very different to what we saw last year when we were all very nervous about aged care facilities.” 

The initial infection of the workers happened despite them being double-dosed and wearing appropriate protective equipment. 

Across the ACT’s aged care sector, about 87 per cent of staff are fully vaccinated while more than 99 per cent have received at least one dose.

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