Canberra hospitals flooded with NSW patients as ACT records ‘equal highest’ number of Covid cases

Blake AntrobusNCA NewsWire
Canberra has recorded more locally acquired infections. NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage
Camera IconCanberra has recorded more locally acquired infections. NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

Covid patients from regional NSW are now seeking treatment in Canberra hospitals as the state grapples with its “equal highest” daily number of new cases, the Chief Minister announced.

Canberra recorded 32 new locally-acquired cases on Saturday, with 26 linked.

Two are linked to the Canberra Hospital while 10 are linked to the Haydon Retirement Community in Bruce.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said only seven were in quarantine during their entire infectious period and 24 spent some time in the community.

On Saturday he told reporters health authorities were starting to see a “large number of patients” that were coming into ACT hospitals unable to seek treatment in NSW.

“As anticipated, the increase in demand on our health system is coming from regional NSW,” Mr Barr said.

“This is a trend we anticipate to continue.”

COVID CANBERRA
Camera IconCanberra has recorded more locally acquired infections. NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

Of the new cases, ten people are in hospital while four are in ICU. Three people require ventilation.

Two people tested positive in a ward at the Canberra Hospital - one of which was unknowingly positive since September 18.

Canberra Health Services CEO David Peffer said the infectious diseases team had responded rapidly and were assessing the situation.

Both positive cases have since been moved to the established Covid ward.

“Patients and our team members are currently undergoing testing... no patients will be discharged from that ward until we have a confirmed test result back,” Mr Peffer said.

The ward in question has since been designated a “red zone”.

Nine residents and a staff member at the Haydon Retirement Community have also tested positive.

Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said the cluster at the community had now grown to 12.

“One hundred per cent of staff have received their full dose and 53 per cent are fully vaccinated,” she said.

“We are very assured that the progress of this outbreak will be very different to what we saw last year, when we were all very nervous about aged care facilities.”

Earlier this week, two fully vaccinated staff members in the retirement community tested positive.

Dr Coleman said on Friday elderly residents at the Haydon Retirement Community facility had all been tested and are now isolating in their rooms.

Originally published as Canberra hospitals flooded with NSW patients as ACT records ‘equal highest’ number of Covid cases

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