V/Line trains suspended, more pop-up vax hubs
ANOTHER five COVID-19 infections have been detected in regional Victoria, including one in greater Geelong, one in Mildura, two in Gippsland and one linked to the V/Line driver cluster.
Across the state there were 392 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and come as all of Victoria’s regional train services were suspended after more than 180 drivers and operational staff were placed in isolation following four positive coronavirus tests among workers.
“Out of an abundance of caution we are suspending all trains on Sunday to limit the spread and to keep everyone safe,” a Department of Transport statement said.
A series of pop-up vaccination hubs will be set up across Victoria, with the first five slated for COVID-ravaged areas.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the 100 pop-up vaccination hubs will be established across 100 “priority postcodes”.
“Postcodes where there are case numbers, postcodes where there are perhaps not enough people through the vaccination program,” he said.
“This will be done in stages. The first of those are five community-based pop-ups.
“They will be in areas that need the most. So in the outbreak areas where cases are potentially growing in Hume, Dandenong and Casey.”
The first of the pop-up hubs will open within days and demand will determine how long they remain before moving on.
The initiative has been incorporated into the state government’s push to get all 12-year-old and up students vaccinated by the end of the school year.
Some 70 schools will become pop-up sites, with the first eight in Dandenong, Point Cook, Werribee, Gladstone Park, Caroline Springs, Brunswick and Tarneit.
“These pop-ups are all about removing another barrier, taking the vaccination program to you,” Mr Andrews said.
“You can come and be part of that, get your first and second dose, play your part, get the lockdowns off and protect yourself against becoming seriously ill.”
Ballarat Health Services had already activated two pop-up testing sites in the region following a positive case in Daylesford and wastewater detections at the Ballarat South treatment site.
The Marty Busch Reserve testing site in Sebastopol will be open from 1pm to 7pm on Sunday, and 9am to 6pm on Monday. Entry is from Charlotte Street.
Meanwhile the Victoria Park site at Daylesford will be open until 7pm this evening.
Of the new cases announced today, 255 were from the city’s north and another 89 came from the western suburbs.
The health department confirmed 107 cases were linked to known outbreaks, with the source of the still 285 under investigation.
It brings the total number of active cases in the state to 3112, with all but four locally acquired.
Mr Andrews said 85 per cent of active cases are under the age of 50.
“This is not just something for the frail aged,” he said.
“That is the nature of a pandemic of the unvaccinated. That group is still too big for us to be able to open up.”
The state has 147 people in hospital with COVID-19, up four from Saturday, with 34 of those people in intensive care units and 28 of them on a ventilator.
Of the cases in hospital, only one was fully vaccinated and isn’t believed to be on a ventilator.
In the 24 hours to Sunday morning, 48,063 tests were processed and 36,534 Victorians received a vaccine dose at a state-run hub.