The ACT has reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 20.00 on Thursday as the territory enters a new phase of accepting some community transmission of the virus.
A woman in her 70s with COVID also died at the Calvary Haydon Aged Care Facility.
“ACT Health sends its sincere condolences to this person’s loved ones. Our thoughts are with their family and friends during this difficult time,” it said in a statement.
There are 16 Canberrans in the hospital and eight of them are in intensive care. This is an increase from the six in intensive care reported on Thursday. The government has not stated how many require ventilation. It also only reports the number of Canberrans at its hospital and does not include anyone who may be there from NSW.
No information was provided on the number of cases considered as a risk of transmission in the community.
493 people have COVID in ACT and there have been 1394 cases in this outbreak.
ACT has also hit the 76 percent mark for people over the age of 12 with two vaccine doses.
The ACT minister said earlier that the territory had reached an initial vaccination rate of 99 percent.
Barr, who held a press conference before the daily figures were revealed, said the next easing of restrictions was still planned for October 29. Further details on the next steps would be given before then.
“I do not want to create an expectation that things are going to go faster than that,” the prime minister said of the planned next change of restrictions on October 29.
Barr also tried to clarify the rules for crossing borders after confusion about what people are allowed to do.
Canberrans can go to the NSW border regions for a number of significant reasons, going to a pub is not included, he said.
“My advice between now and November 1 is that cross-border travel is for these essential reasons.”
The reasons are broader than they usually are, but are not for vacations and / or recreation, but for a defined reason to go.
Canberra adapts to a new normal
The new cases were announced as restrictions in the area were eased and ended with a nine-week lockout.
Current modeling suggested that in the next few weeks, Canberra’s hospitals could expect between 17 and 20 cases on wards and up to eight people on intensive care.
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith described the modeling as a “moving party” and that it would not be helpful to release a “point-in-time” model as it would be updated weekly, but Stephen-Smith said she could discuss the modeling on a weekly basis.
NSW health authorities have moved to ease COVID-19 restrictions for people entering NSW from the territory, making Canberrans “subject to the same rules as people living in NSW”.
The shift in policy raises expectations for the ACT to repeat restrictions for NSW residents coming to Canberra.
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