A woman in her 80s has died with COVID as Canberra set yet another record for hospitalisation rates.
There are now 138 people with COVID-19 in Canberra hospitals, as of 8pm Thursday, well up on the 122 recorded the previous day. It's the seventh time in the past eight days the ACT has set a record.
It's also the second death in as many days, taking the pandemic's toll in the city to 80.
Of the 138 people in hospital, four are in intensive care and one of those is being ventilated.
There were 1169 new cases reported in the 24-hour period (652 PCR and 517 RAT). That takes known cases of the virus in Canberra to a record 6876.
Clinical director for medicine at Canberra Hospital Ashwin Swaminathan expected bed block to continue as respiratory viruses were dominating the season.
"Bed block is an ongoing issue for the hospital, it is due to the ... high numbers of patients coming through the emergency department due to the circulating respiratory viruses in the community," he said.
"We also have significant workforce pressures due to COVID and non COVID illnesses affecting doctors, nurses, allied health staff and associated staff, so all of those factors impact on our ability to impact on patient flow."
Pandemic leave payments have ended ahead of an expected surge of COVID-19 cases but infected people must still follow directions to isolate at home for a week, the health minister says.
Mark Butler says the federal government does not have the financial capacity to continue funding what were intended as emergency payments, and which came to an end on June 30.
Asked if people without sick leave entitlements were likely to go to work with COVID-19 if they did not have access to government support, Mr Butler said he "hoped not".
A federal government review of Australia's COVID-19 preparedness is about looking towards the future rather than focusing on past mistakes, the health minister says.
The review will be headed up by former health department boss Jane Halton, who will examine the pharmaceutical contracts for Australia's COVID vaccines and treatments signed by the previous government.
The US Food and Drug Administration has recommended COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers change the design of their booster shots to combat coronavirus sub-variants.
If authorised, the changes would mark the first major retooling of COVID vaccines, but also could slow their rollout.
The FDA will not require new studies testing the shots designed to battle the currently dominating Omicron BA.4/BA.5 strains, a top agency official told Reuters.
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