People should expect a number of new cases in the growing Canberra outbreak of COVID-19, which is a very serious situation, the ACT Health Minister says.
Rachel Stephen-Smith said a student at Lyneham High School had tested positive, and attended school for four days during their infectious period between Monday and Thursday last week.
The case brings the total number of active community cases in the Canberra outbreak to 10, and will be included in Monday's update.
"People can expect we will have a number of new cases to announce today. This is to be expected, and I think what your listeners need to be aware of is, that we're likely to see new cases," Ms Stephen-Smith told ABC radio.
"We've had a lot of testing being done. This is Delta strain, so when one person gets it, their close contacts are very likely - it's likely that they're going to spread that infection."
Ms Stephen-Smith said health authorities were working through arrangements to boost testing capacity for the affected school community.
"We're working through an arrangement to ensure that those contacts from Lyneham High can also get tested in a timely manner, and in an orderly way, so that we're prioritising those people most likely to have come into contact with the case," she said.
Ms Stephen-Smith said everyone in the school community should have received a letter, and the close contacts and household contacts would need to quarantine for 14 days.
"Because we know how quickly the Delta variant spreads, my understanding is that everyone is being treated as a close contact at this point in time," she said.
Ms Stephen-Smith said the ACT would record new cases but that showed the public health response was working.
"We identify a case, we identify contacts. Check In CBR has been fantastic for that purpose. [We] ask people to get tested, and that's how we get those people into isolation; we get their close contacts into quarantine and we break those chains of transmissions," she said.
The government's aim was to replicate Queensland's success in containing an outbreak in the south-east of the state, where all new cases were in quarantine throughout their infectious period, the Health Minister said.
Ms Stephen-Smith said it was still too early to make a definitive decision on a lockdown extension.
"It really depends on what we see over the next day or so. I think we have got thousands and thousands of contacts identified, and so I think this is a very serious situation," she said.
"We will continue to monitor it and take it very seriously. I want to thank Canberrans for doing that as well."
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