The ACT has recorded nine new COVID-19 cases overnight, bringing the territory’s total to 62.
- An AFP officer has tested positive to coronavirus, but it is unknown if they are based in Canberra
- The Canberra Liberals are calling for a commercial rates freeze, saying the ACT’s current financial relief package doesn’t go far enough
- The ACT has recorded 62 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with two of those cases having recovered
The new cases include six males and three females, aged between 21 and 73.
ACT Health said seven of the cases are linked to overseas travel, including cruise ships, and two are close contacts of confirmed cases.
Health officials maintain there is no community transmission of the virus in the territory.
These new cases come as a second person is reported to have made a full recovery from COVID-19, and released from self-isolation.
The ACT’s first recovered person was diagnosed on March 12, and is now no longer required to self-isolate.
“From the start, [he] did everything right … and I would like to thank him,” ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said yesterday.
“People have been incredibly cooperative so far, and we hope that continues.”
There are currently five COVID-19 patients in Canberra Hospital; the rest are isolating at home.
The total number of coronavirus cases across Australia has now risen to over 3,000 — more than 1,000 of which are in NSW.
In the regions surrounding Canberra, Goulburn has recorded two new cases, taking its total to six. The Cooma-Monaro region recorded its first case, and the Queanbeyan-Palerang council area has five confirmed cases.
Relevant flight details and confirmed case details from today’s new ACT cases will be uploaded to the ACT Health website.
Today the Australian Federal Police also confirmed one of its members has tested positive for the virus.
It is not known when the AFP staff member returned a positive reading or if the officer is based in the force’s large Canberra headquarters.
The AFP told the ABC it had no concerns that the virus had spread to any other officers.
Canberra Liberals call for commercial rates freeze
As the number of confirmed cases in the ACT rise, the Canberra Liberals are calling for even more relief for hard-hit Canberra businesses.
The ACT’s economic support package, announced last week, included $16 million in commercial rates relief for more than 6,000 commercial ratepayers with properties worth less than $2 million.
ACT COVID-19 snapshot
But Opposition Leader Alistair Coe said the relief package did not go far enough.
He said in the current climate, too many businesses were still going to be driven to the wall.
“There simply shouldn’t be commercial rates being charged, at least for affected businesses, but perhaps right across the board,” he said.
“It just simply doesn’t stack up that the ACT Government should be charging employers rates at a time that they simply can’t trade.”
Meanwhile the ACT Legislative Assembly has confirmed it will sit in a reduced capacity next week.
It will only meet on Thursday, rather than for three days, and will lock in a similar format for the rest of 2020.
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