The ACT has recorded 31 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm Wednesday as the Chief Minister warns Canberrans not to gather in large numbers when household visits are allowed from Friday.
Seventeen of the new cases have been linked to previous cases and 14 are under investigation.
Six cases were in quarantine for their entire infectious period and at least 17 cases were in the community for part of their infectious period.
There are 10 patients with COVID-19 in Canberra's hospitals. Three are in intensive care and require ventilation. Another patient has entered ICU overnight and will be included in Friday's update.
There are 246 active cases in the ACT. So far 588 people have recovered from the virus during the current outbreak after 21 more patients recovered overnight.
The Calvary Haydon Retirement Community cluster has grown to 17 cases with two more residents and one staff member counted in today's figures.
Deputy chief health officer Dr Vanessa Johnston said the higher case numbers was a reminder for everyone to remain vigilant during lockdown.
Warning on family reunion super spreader
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said parents could bring their young children with them for supervision reasons when two visitors to households are permitted from Friday.
However, he warned against large, multi-generational gatherings at home.
"The biggest cause of transmission of the virus is household close contacts. So let's not have this important opportunity for families to reunite face-to-face for the first time in a while be a super spreader event," he said.
In the case of a family who wished to visit their grandparents, Mr Barr said the grandparents should visit the family rather than the other way around in order to comply with the two visitor limit.
He defended the decision to limit visitors to two per household, saying that awful things had been said about public health officials and politicians in recent weeks as people pushed for further relaxation of public health measures.
"It has been the nastiest public debate that I've experienced in my career in politics. Worse than marriage equality, worse than voluntary assisted dying," Mr Barr said.
Canberra Hospital cases
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said no further cases had been detected in relation to the patients from ward 10A at Canberra Hospital.
Two patients on the ward were reported on Saturday and a further patient tested positive on Monday.
Ms Stephen-Smith said 47 staff remained in quarantine and the ward remains closed for admissions.
The other patients on the ward and staff members working there have tested negative on day five testing yesterday.
"The fact that all of these tests have come back negative is such a good sign of the effectiveness of Canberra Hospital's infection protection and control and use of personal protective equipment," Ms Stephen-Smith said.
Visitors to aged care facilities are banned until October 15. The Health Minister said after this date visitors would be allowed in line with policies of each facility.
Vaccine bookings available
Mr Barr encouraged people to bring forward their vaccine bookings after more than 3000 appointments were moved yesterday.
From today Canberrans aged 60 years and over are allowed to book appointments for the Pfizer vaccine as well as the Moderna vaccine. The Calvary AstraZeneca clinic will be closed from Friday, October 8.
Mr Barr said mixing different vaccines was not approved in Australia, however the Commonwealth has flagged that mRNA vaccines would be used for booster shots for everyone next year.
Meanwhile, NSW has recorded 941 new cases and six deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm Wednesday.
The Southern NSW Local Health District recorded 26 new cases, with 14 new cases in Queanbeyan-Palerang, three in Goulburn, five in Snowy Monaro and four in Batemans Bay.
Ms Stephen-Smith confirmed that a number of cases in Queanbeyan were associated with a childcare centre but did not further information to share on the cluster.
Due to recent COVID numbers in Snowy Monaro, the NSW government announced the local government area would go into lockdown from 3pm today. Queanbeyan and Goulburn will also remain in lockdown until October 11.
Victoria has recorded 1438 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily total that state has ever recorded.
Queensland recorded six new cases, prompting new restrictions for some regions.
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