The ACT government will give extra money to emergency food relief services as the number of Canberrans in a two-week quarantine has skyrocketed to more than 21,000.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr warned the territory had to stop the spread of the virus now, otherwise the city would be like Sydney for the rest of the year.
"We don't want to live like Sydney with ever-growing case numbers two months into a lockdown, with the virus seeding out all over the country and into New Zealand," he said.
There were 16 new cases recorded on Thursday, bringing the total number of active cases in the ACT to 83.
The source of nine cases was still under investigation, including five reported on Thursday.
The number of close contacts associated with Canberra's exposure sites almost doubled in one day, with more than 19,000 identified.
There are now more than 240 close and casual contact exposure sites in the ACT. Exposure sites added on Thursday included several bus and light rail routes, Goodstart Early Learning Turner and KFC in Fyshwick.
More cases have been linked to the Lyneham High School cluster, with 23 now associated to the school. There are 13 cases linked to Fiction nightclub and six cases at Gold Creek High School.
ACT deputy chief health officer Dr Vanessa Johnston said most new cases had been in the community for at least part of their infectious period.
"We're still seeing transmission and a number of public exposure locations, which really highlights why it's just so important to follow our advice to quarantine for the full 14 days and to get tested when you're directed to do so," Dr Johnston said.
Dr Johnston also revealed 43 per cent of the ACT's cases were in people aged 17 and under and 46 per cent were in people aged between 18 and 44.
There has been continued pressure on food delivery services across the territory due to the high numbers in quarantine. The ACT government has poured an extra $200,000 into an emergency food relief program with Volunteering ACT, bringing total funding to $450,000.
The government will also give $260,000 to the community sector to extend mental health supports and $200,000 for crisis and emergency services.
"We know that lockdowns are difficult for many Canberra families. That's why we are moving quickly to extend funding to community partners, provide direct relief to members of the community, and boost the capacity of critical community services to meet increases in demand," Mr Barr said.
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Canberra hit another record day of testing, with almost 8880 tests conducted. There have been 33,000 tests conducted since the start of the lockdown, which is about 8 per cent of the ACT's population.
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith announced another testing site at the Erindale Active Leisure Centre had opened. It is initially being used for priority targeted testing.
Ms Stephen-Smith said health authorities had aimed to get the ACT's public testing capacity up to 5000 a day. Private provider Capital Pathology conducted almost 4600 tests on Wednesday.
She said health authorities were continuing to do further work around communicating wait times testing centres.
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