Victoria still waits on end of lockdown decision

July 26, 2021 BY

Slight drop: More than 25,000 people got tested for COVID-19 yesterday, and Health Minister Martin Foley said it was important that testing numbers remained high. Photo: BARWON HEALTH

VICTORIAN Health Minister Martin Foley has said authorities will need the rest of today’s data before any decisions can be made about the end of the state’s COVID-19 lockdown.

The 12-day lockdown – Victoria’s fifth of the COVID-19 pandemic – is scheduled to lift at 11.59pm tomorrow.

Victoria recorded 11 new cases today. All are linked to existing outbreaks, and all were isolating during their infectious period, meaning there are no new public exposure sites.

Speaking this morning, Mr Foley said “nothing has yet been finalised” today but “we are mindful of the need, as soon as possible, to share that with the people of Victoria.”

“At our briefing with public health officials this morning, we did clearly take some comfort from the fact that over the weekend, the 22 locally acquired cases had all been quarantining for the entirety of their infectious period, and presented no public health risk,” he said.

“But it is still 22 cases, and when you reflect on where we have been over the journey of these last 18 months, as we have dealt with the reopening from our breaks, 22 cases over two days is a significant figure.

“It is not a risk we take lightly, but equally, we do take some, we do take comfort from the fact that they have all been in quarantine for the entirety of their infectious period.

“What it points to is that we are on the right track, and we will make a decision based on the decision of the public health team on the most up-to-date advice.”

More than 25,000 people got tested yesterday compared to more than 32,000 the day before, and Mr Foley urged more people to get tested.

“Now that we are coming to two weeks of that [Delta strain] in circulation, we need to make sure that testing numbers stay high,” he said.

“It gives our public health team that extra notice in their material, it gives them a further tool in their toolkits to make sure that they’ve got the best possible data.”

Yesterday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews foreshadowed that even if the lockdown did end as scheduled at midnight on Tuesday, there would still be some restrictions in place, and it was important that everyone follow them.

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