ACT records 26 new virus cases

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The chances of the ACT coming out of lockdown remain unclear, with 26 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and six of them without a known source.

"I don't have an answer today," Chief Minister Andrew Barr told reporters on Saturday when asked whether restrictions would be lifted as planned on Thursday.

"We need to find more out about the six cases today, we need to see what tomorrow's figures look like and what Monday's figures look like," he said.

"As I've said many times from this podium, we are most interested and most focused not on the headline case number but infectious in the community."

The territory has now recorded 237 virus cases in total. Four of them are fully recovered.

ACT Chief Health Officer Kerry Coleman says 20 of the infections reported in the 24 hours to Friday evening have been linked to existing clusters or cases, and 15 were in quarantine while infectious.

However, seven were in the community for at least part of time and the status of four are under investigation.

Dr Coleman says 10 infected residents remain in hospital, including one who is critically unwell in ICU.

She said there are 1800 self identified close contacts in quarantine while over 2800 casual contacts have been identified along with 214 exposure locations dispersed across Canberra.

The territory conducted 2937 virus tests on Friday while police made more than a thousand traffic stops.

The ACT is meanwhile hoping to crack the 80 per cent full vaccination mark with the opening of a mass clinic next week.

The AIS Arena clinic will replace the centre at Garran on September 3, delivering as many as 24,000 Pfizer shots a week depending on supply.

Canberra already has the best vaccination rate in the country, with 64.8 per cent of adults having received a first dose as of Saturday and 41.0 per cent a second.

Mr Barr says the inoculation program is his single-biggest priority over the next three months.

"The balancing act we have to perform between now and getting 80 per cent and beyond ... is going to be a very difficult one," he said.

He said the challenge would be to enact public health directions while "wanting to ensure that there is some level of economic activity and that people have the opportunity to have some greater level of activity than is currently the case".

The ACT government, in partnership with local GPs and pharmacies, would do everything it could to provide vaccines to all eligible Canberrans including 12 to 15 year olds, Mr Barr said.

Bookings made at the Garran centre will be automatically transferred to the new AIS Arena clinic.

The ACT reported 21 new coronavirus infections on Friday.

In the meantime, small and non-essential retailers are able to have two people on site for the purpose of contactless delivery, and click and collect orders.

Large essential retailers, such as shops selling hardware and building supplies, are restricted to delivery or click and collect for all but trade customers.

The change follows concern over the number of people heading to Bunnings, which racked up 19,000 check-ins in a single day.

Construction work is also set to restart gradually from Friday.

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