Several suspected cases of coronavirus in the ACT have been ruled out after multiple tests initially returned false-positive results.
Eleven tests by a private provider on Wednesday originally returned positive results, and government authorities ordered new tests. ACT Health said 10 of these had returned negative results on Thursday, and the eleventh person was in isolation in NSW awaiting updated test results.
"At this time, there are no positive cases of COVID-19 in the ACT and no exposure sites," ACT Health said.
ACT Health said the tests had been conducted at a private pathology provider and work was under way to determine how the false positive had shown up.
Rumours had been circulating through Canberra about positive tests since Wednesday evening, with ACT residents already on high alert as parliamentarians and their staffers head to Canberra ahead of sitting week.
ACT Health issued its updated numbers shortly before 1pm, saying there were still no active cases in the territory.
ACT COVID-19 update (29 July 2021)— ACT Health (@ACTHealth) July 29, 2021
▪️ Cases today: 0
▪️ Active cases: 0
▪️ Total cases: 124
▪️ Recovered: 121
▪️ Lives lost: 3
▪️ Test results (past 24 hours): 1,118
▪️ Negative tests: 267,152
▪️ Total COVID-19 vaccinations: 131,997
ACT Policing closed a section of the Winchester Centre in Belconnen for deep cleaning on Thursday morning which was reopened that afternoon.
"There is no threat of Covid transmission to ACT Policing or the community," an ACT Policing spokesman said.
There are currently 900 people in quarantine in the ACT. They include returned government officials and Sydney students at the Australian National University, as well as diplomats quarantining at home.
A similar number were on stay-at-home orders after having visited an area of concern before crossing the border into the ACT.
Early reports of the suspected cases had raised concerns the highly-contagious Delta variant could have made its way in from Sydney, as NSW continued its battle to get the outbreak under control.
Another 239 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 were recorded in NSW overnight, its highest-ever single-day number of new cases.
The ACT government has been considering implementing a regional bubble which would include Queanbeyan, however, authorities are yet to "hit the go button".
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ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has warned Canberrans and residents in surrounding towns to be prepared in case the situation in the ACT changed.
"We're continuing to prepare for multiple scenarios," she said on Wednesday.
"As we continue this planning, we are asking the community to be aware that the situation could change very quickly, and to be prepared to respond to any increasing restrictions or changes to travel advice."
More to come.
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