Victoria records 334 COVID-19 cases, one death
VICTORIA has recorded three-hundred-and-thirty-four new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and one death, as lockdown lifts for most of the state’s regions.
Today, COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar confirmed 149 cases were linked to known outbreaks, with the source of the remaining 185 under investigation.
The fatality was a Coburg man in his 70s.
This takes the death toll from the state’s latest outbreak to four.
There are now 2,426 active cases in the state, 127 of which are in hospital including 33 in intensive care, with 21 requiring a ventilator to breathe.
In the 24 hours to yesterday morning, 42,998 tests were processed and 39,027 Victorians received a vaccine dose at a state-run hub, beating Wednesday’s record of 37,604 jabs.
It comes as all of regional Victoria, with the exception of Greater Shepparton, today exited lockdown, with cafes, restaurants and bars able to open with strict patron limits.
Schools can reopen for years Prep to 2, and Year 12, but all other students must continue their studies remotely.
Also from today, the Government is allowing Victorians who have been stuck on the NSW side of the border since late August to apply for a new permit to return home.
Successful applicants will have to drive home and isolate for 14 days.
Melbourne won’t see any easing of strict lockdown measures until at least 70 per cent of the eligible population receive their first vaccine dose, which Mr Weimar estimates will happen in a matter of days.
Residents could get an extra hour of outdoor activity and the five-kilometre travel radius expanded to 10km.
There’s no indication yet of what freedoms will be permitted when 70 and 80 per cent of the population are double-vaccinated.
Yesterday, NSW released its plan out of lockdown, which involves retail and hospitality opening to fully-vaccinated people as soon as mid-October.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the Government was awaiting detailed modelling from the Burnett Institute, which will forecast the Victorian outbreak’s peak and how the healthcare system will respond.
He said there is an “enormous amount of work” being done to prepare the state’s hospitals for a surge in cases.
The majority of the state’s active cases are in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, leading to calls from GPs, pharmacists and community leaders for a Pfizer vaccine blitz in the area, at more culturally appropriate sites.
A V/Line trainee train driver has also tested positive for COVID-19, sparking chaos for regional commuters, given more than 100 other staff have been forced into isolation after being deemed close contacts.
Transport Minister Ben Carroll said 20 services have been disrupted.
– BY AAP