Medical experts have warned further cases of coronavirus could already be present in the Canberra community, as a new COVID-19 testing clinic opened in Canberra after the city saw its busiest week of testing.
A testing centre at the pop-up coronavirus hospital on Garran Oval opened to the public on Saturday, where ACT Health staff tested more than 30 people by midday.
Canberra Health Services' executive director for cancer and ambulatory support, Cathie O'Neill, said staff at the centre expected between 120 and 150 patients on Saturday.
"Typically, on the weekends the numbers drop off and then this morning it has been quite manageable. But we did have our busiest week so far. We did over 620 [tests] on Thursday, which is huge," Ms O'Neill said.
She said ACT Pathology was sourcing extra equipment so the ACT could continue surging its testing capacity.
Registered nurse Mark Gaukroger, who returned from retirement to assist testing efforts, said it was important people who had symptoms should not hesitate in presenting for a test.
"Yes, the test isn't a comfortable experience but it's not extremely painful. [Patients] just need to relax, listen to the staff, let them guide them through the procedures and to ask as many questions as they want. We will try and allay their fears and give them the information and education they need," Mr Gaukroger said.
Five new cases of COVID-19 in the ACT have been linked to the Melbourne outbreak.
ACT health authorities have said the new cases of coronavirus in Canberra have been close contacts, but medical experts said there was the possibility of further cases of COVID-19 yet to be identified in the community.
The president of the Australian Medical Association's ACT branch, Dr Antonio Di Dio, said Canberra could experience a small spike in cases.
"[The Victorian outbreak] is a big deal and it's naive to think we'll be protected by that," Dr Di Dio said.
"There's the potential scenario of people being in the same places as the cases who had returned from Melbourne and tested positive. Hopefully they would be responsibly self-isolating but the virus could potentially be spreading."
ACT health authorities said new cases were to be expected in coming days.
Dr Di Dio said as the number of cases in Victoria continued to climb, it was a case of waiting and seeing what the next few days would bring.
"For us in the ACT, we might have a relatively small spike in the next two weeks, or we might have absolutely nothing. That we just don't know yet. We won't know the impacts for about 10 days or so," he said.
Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, an epidemiologist at the University of NSW who also advises the World Health Organisation, said the new cases in the ACT highlighted the importance of border control measures.
She said the ACT's low rate of infection during previous stages of the pandemic meant Canberra residents should not be too alarmed in coming days but needed to remain vigilant.
"If the new cases didn't hold social gatherings indoors, there's less risk of the spread," Professor McLaws said.
"It will take some time before the numbers go down. By default we will have more cases occur, but there's no uncontained spread in the community."