ACT records 52 COVID cases, two deaths

·2-min read

Canberra's coronavirus death toll has risen to six following two aged care deaths amid a daily high of 52 new infections.

The latest deaths were residents of the Calvary Haydon Retirement Community aged in their 80s. They had been receiving palliative care.

Of Friday's new infections, a source could be found for 40.

More than half were household contacts of existing cases and at least 31 spent part of their infectious period in the community.

Another 17 were in quarantine the whole time.

Among the cases is a worker at the ACT's Alexander Maconochie jail, which is in lockdown after a prisoner there tested positive last month.

Authorities are worried about Friday's case spike ahead of the lockdown lifting from October 15.

The previously daily case high was 32.

Authorities believe it is too early to say whether it is an indication of infections trending up.

The ACT is trying to suppress case numbers until more than 90 per cent of over-12s are fully vaccinated.

Federal data shows the ACT's double-dose rate is sitting around 64 per cent, while partial vaccinations have passed 90 per cent.

Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman hopes the ACT won't need to deviate from its reopening plan.

"All of that will play into next week's discussions. My aim is to leave the settings as we have announced moving forward," she told reporters.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr described Friday's figure as a shock and an important reminder the virus remained active in the community.

"When we get to higher vaccination rates and we start to further reduce our public health safety measures, daily case numbers like this will become the norm. We are not at that point yet," he said.

"I don't want to rule anything in or out based on one day's numbers. They're not good. They're not where we want them to be. But one day isn't a trend."

The ACT has 275 active infections, 11 of them in hospital including three in intensive care requiring ventilation.

Under relaxed restrictions, people can now have up to two visitors to their home.

Outdoor personal training and bootcamps can resume with up to two clients, while national parks and reserves have reopened.

Mr Barr said Canberrans should limit their interactions with other people.

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