The ACT has recorded 33 new COVID-19 cases overnight with 28 linked to existing exposure sites or are identified close contacts.
Of the ACT’s 33 new cases, six were in quarantine for their entire infectious period, with at least 14 spending some time in the community while infectious.
13 of those who spent time in the community have been assessed as posing a “minimal risk of transmission” according to Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman.
Dr Coleman said reporting will be adapted in the future to focus on the cases who pose a higher risk to the community.
Fourteen people are hospitalised with or due to COVID-19. Five are in intensive care with three requiring ventilation.
The youngest patient is in their 20s, the oldest in their 60s.
Ten of the hospitalised patients are unvaccinated and four have had one dose.
95 people have been admitted to hospital throughout the outbreak, nine per cent of all cases. Sixteen have required ICU care, 17 per cent of hospitalisations; a further eight have required ventilatory support.
68 of the 95 hospital admissions have been unvaccinated, 16 partially vaccinated, and five fully vaccinated, with the vaccination status still unknown for a further six patients.
The ACT has now recorded 1038 cases in this outbreak with 649 having recovered, leaving 384 active cases.
Dr Coleman said she expects to see larger case numbers and “a degree of transmission” across the ACT.
She said it is “inevitable” due to the “highly contagious nature” of the delta strain combined with more freedom of movement as public health measures ease.
Following record high daily case numbers set in the last week, the overall average case numbers per week has pushed up to 132 from 123.5 previously.
The proportion of tests who come back positive has also increased in the past week from 0.7 per cent of tests to almost two per cent.
Approximately 70 per cent of the cases recorded in the past week presented for testing due to being a close or household contact.
For the entire outbreak, more than half the cases are male, and the median age is 28 years.
53 per cent of cases are aged between 18-44 years.
More than 2,500 tests were conducted yesterday, a figure Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said was “strong for a public holiday”.
106 in-person compliance checks were conducted yesterday by ACT Policing of homes, hotels and businesses.
1310 road stops were conducted with 22 people directed to leave the ACT. Three infringement notices were issued and no cautions.
On the vaccination front, 94 per cent of Canberrans aged 12 and over have now received at least one jab with over 65 per cent fully vaccinated.
The increase in supply of Pfizer and Moderna coming online have led to an escalation of available appointments via the ACT Government-led mass vaccination clinics, GPs and pharmacies, with bookings available today.
“If you’ve got an appointment that is some distance off and you want to bring it forward, now is your opportunity to get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.
Vaccine mandate for frontline healthcare workers
The health minister this morning also announced being vaccinated against COVID-19 will be mandatory for healthcare workers in the ACT across certain settings.
It will be focused on staff at the highest risk of coming into contact with COVID-19, which includes frontline staff in hospitals, any healthcare facility operated by Canberra Health Services, day hospitals, in Hospice, and ambulance services.
The current proposal is that workers must have at least one dose of vaccine by no later than 29 October and a second dose by no later than 1 December.
The mandatory vaccination requirements will be implemented through a new public health direction signed by the chief health officer.
“Vaccinating healthcare workers is the most effective way to protect them against the virus while also reducing the transmission to patients, other staff, and the wider community,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.
Consultation commenced this morning with the healthcare workforce and other key stakeholders to finalise the details of the public health direction.
Ms Stephen-Smith said a phased approach to other healthcare settings will be considered in the “coming weeks and months”.