Health chief confirms first case in months

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ACT health chief officer Dr Kerryn Coleman

AFTER months of being covid-free, Canberra’s health chief has confirmed an active case of COVID-19 in the territory.

ACT chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman says the new case is a returned overseas traveller in his 70s.

The man, a diplomat, returned from overseas on October 9 after flying into Sydney International Airport, Dr Coleman says.

He travelled to Canberra by private vehicle and didn’t stop on his way to the ACT and has been quarantining since his return to the ACT. 

Dr Coleman says he underwent a test on day 10 of his quarantine period, which returned a positive result.  

ACT Health is following up two contacts of this individual.

“While we believe the risk to these contacts is low in this instance, we are taking a cautious approach,” Dr Coleman says. 

“The circumstances of this new case demonstrates that our quarantine system here in the ACT is working well to protect the Canberra community from COVID-19. However, it is another timely reminder that COVID-19 still poses a risk to the ACT and the situation can change quickly.”

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith says this case is an important reminder to Canberrans that the ACT is not an isolated bubble from COVID-19.

“We will continue to see the occasional case,” she says. 

“We have had people in home quarantine and hotel quarantine throughout this period. We’ve consistently had between about 250 and just over 300 people in quarantine in the ACT, and we’ve currently got 276 people in quarantine.” 

This new case brings the ACT’s total case number to 114.  

The number of negative tests recorded in the ACT is now 103,205.

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