Another Canberra resident has tested positive for coronavirus, a day after three people became the ACT’s first known cases of COVID-19 in a month.
The latest person to be infected is a close contact of yesterday’s cases, which included a woman and two men in their 20s who live together.
The news of these four cases, and the unfolding situation in Victoria, has prompted the ACT Government to cancel plans to lift restrictions this Friday.
All four of the newly infected residents live in the Gungahlin region.
The ACT has now recorded 112 cases of the respiratory illness, which has killed three Canberrans.
ACT Health said the latest individual infected with the virus — another man in his 20s — was in quarantine and cooperating as they conducted contact tracing.
Health officials said the man visited one public location — the Vodafone store in Gungahlin — prior to showing symptoms but when he was likely infected.
He was at the store between 3:00pm and 3:30pm on Monday.
Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said the risk to the public was low, but that anyone who was at that location during that time should monitor themselves for symptoms.
She said the risk to staff at the store at the time was also low.
Symptoms of coronavirus include a dry cough, sore throat and fever.
Dr Coleman also asked the Canberra community to remember that contracting the virus was “no one’s fault”
“The situation in Victoria is evolving very quickly, and people coming to the ACT who may have COVID-19 need our support.”
Stage three restrictions will not go ahead on Friday
The ACT Government has also confirmed that Canberra will not enter stage three of easing restrictions from Friday, as planned.
Mr Barr said the Government would make a decision in two weeks’ time about moving to stage three, after they assessed the situation in the ACT.
The decision was made after the recent cases were confirmed, and in light of the Victorian outbreak.
Dr Coleman said 168 people had recently returned to the ACT from Victoria and were currently in quarantine either at home or in hotels.
They are currently processing 400 requests to enter the territory as an exemption to the border closure rule.
“The situation that is unfolding in Victoria is concerning and has resulted in four new confirmed cases in the last two days here in the ACT,” Dr Coleman said.
“It is possible there will be new cases emerging from these returning travellers in the coming weeks and we need to be in a position to respond quickly.”
The pilot program to bring international students back to Canberra’s universities will also be put on hold.
And spectator numbers at this weekend’s Raiders game will be capped at 1,500.
ACT Policing monitoring those in self-isolation
Mr Barr encouraged Canberrans who had been in Melbourne or Victoria in the past three weeks to self-isolate and get tested if they displayed any symptoms.
Anyone who arrived in the ACT from Victoria after Monday has been required to self-isolate for at least 14 days.
The two people who returned from Melbourne, spurring the most recent cases, arrived before Tuesday.
“ACT police are leading the ACT Government’s compliance and monitoring of those people who are in quarantine,” he said.
“It’s the one thing — the one thing — that people who have been in Melbourne in the past three weeks can do to support this community.”