Coronavirus exposure sites identified in Canberra's nightclubs have driven an increase in demand for COVID-19 tests in the capital, but health authorities are confident the growing number of Canberrans seeking tests shows people are still following the rules.
The seven-day rolling average of negative tests reported by ACT Health has risen from about 1400 a fortnight ago to 2289 on Monday.
The upward trend in testing numbers comes after testing rates dropped to their lowest rates since the outbreak began at the end of October.
There were 4243 negative test results reported on Friday, which was the highest number of daily negative test results in more than a month.
Meanwhile, Canberrans who have put off their second vaccine dose due to wanting an different brand have been told they are allowed to come forward for an alternative.
ACT Health on Monday said in a social media post that people were allowed to have a second dose from a different vaccine brand due to new research that showed the safety and effectiveness of mixing vaccines.
"If you've been putting off your 2nd dose because you wanted an alternative vaccine brand - don't delay and book in for your 2nd dose now," the post said.
"If you're choosing a different brand for your 2nd dose, but not sure which vaccine to get (or timing), speak to a GP or health care provider."
An ACT health spokesman said authorities were aware that some people wanted an alternative vaccine brand for their second dose.
"ACT Health's social media posts on the ability to mix vaccines in certain circumstances are part of our ongoing efforts to provide Canberrans with information about their vaccination options," the spokesman said.
"With 97.2 per cent of eligible ACT residents [having] received their second dose, we do not believe there are many Canberrans who are delaying their second dose booking.
"However, we have heard there may be a small number of individuals who would prefer to change vaccines for their second dose."
The ACT reported 11 new COVID-19 cases on Monday. Five people were hospitalised with the virus and two were in intensive care. One person required ventilation.
Another primary school was identified as an exposure site on Monday, after St Thomas the Apostle Catholic Primary School in Kambah was exposed to COVID-19 over two days last week.
Students in one classroom were identified as close contacts "along with a small number of other individuals" from an unknowing exposure on Wednesday, November 17 and Thursday, November 16.
Several night-time venues have been identified as casual exposure locations since restrictions were eased, with most public exposure sites classified as casual contact locations due to the ACT's high vaccination rates.
Just 12 public close contact exposure locations have been identified since the start of November, including gyms, a cinema, a nail salon and an overnight bus between Melbourne and Canberra.
People at casual exposure sites are required to complete a declaration form and get a PCR test immediately, with a follow-up test required five days after their exposure. They do not need to quarantine if their first test is negative, and only need one test if it was five or more days after their exposure.
ACT Health has again provided public advice on wait times at government-run testing clinics, where people can be forced to wait for significant periods in their cars in times of peak demand.
Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith on Thursday said surges in people coming forward to get tested usually died down quickly, before health staff could respond with extra resources.
"What I would say to people is if you do turn up to a testing centre and the queue looks a bit long, you might want to think about going away and coming back later and keeping an eye on our social media to look at wait times," Ms Stephen-Smith said.
"If we see a sustained increase in demand for testing, where that would justify putting in additional resources, then we'll obviously be able to do that."
Testing demand peaked in August, in the first weeks of the ACT outbreak. There were 7882 negative test results reported on August 23.
In a renewed effort to reach people still holding out on vaccination, the ACT will offer mixed second doses for those yet to be fully vaccinated.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommends that the same vaccine dose be used for the two doses of primary vaccination.
However, there are certain circumstances where another brand may be used, including an adverse reaction to a first shot and if the second brand is unavailable.
But emerging research has showed it is effective and safe to combine vaccine brands, hence why people are allowed to come forward.
Booster shots can be from a different brand, with the third top-up shot to be a mRNA vaccine - Pfizer or Moderna.
The ACT government undertook research on vaccine hesitancy earlier this year which found a small portion of people received their COVID jab reluctantly.
The research found it will be crucial to monitor this group so they come forward for their booster shots and second shots.
The government said they made need to develop targeted campaigns if there was a lag in people coming forward for their top-up shots.
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