Australia Corona Virus

Victoria records 221 COVID cases as state edges closer to vaccination target

Source: ABCnews

Victoria has recorded 221 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, the majority of whom are mystery cases.

Contact tracers have been able to link just 98 of those cases to existing outbreaks so far.

The cases were among 42,429 test results processed on Tuesday, when 36,716 vaccine doses were delivered at state-run sites.

There are more than 950 venues listed as exposure sites across the state, including the waiting room of the emergency department of the Alfred Hospital.

Authorities have listed the waiting room as a tier 1 exposure site for September 6 between 5:37pm and 11:15pm after a person with COVID-19 was present.

An Alfred Health spokesperson said emergency department staff were working in PPE and no staff had been furloughed as a result of the exposure.

Police have issued fines and say they are still investigating a religious gathering in Melbourne’s south-east that breached public health orders yesterday.

The Victorian government has committed to a slight easing of restrictions once 70 per cent of Victorians aged 16 years or older have had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

That sits at 61.6 per cent, based on the Tuesday update from the federal Department of Health.LIVE UPDATES: Read our blog for the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic

Technology to be key feature of home quarantine

Premier Daniel Andrews has indicated that a plan for home quarantine for Victorians wanting to return from New South Wales will soon be announced.

In Parliament yesterday, he was asked about what was being done to help Victorians who have been unable to return from NSW due to very strict border restrictions that have essentially closed the border since late July.

Mr Andrews said as a result of a discussion with Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week, it was agreed Victoria would run a “technology-based pilot” to enable people to come home. He said the first stage of the plan, focused on border communities, “may not need technology”.

“Once we start moving further north into NSW and getting closer to Sydney … where there are literally thousands of cases, technology will be more important,” he said.

South Australia has already begun a home quarantine pilot that involves the use of geo-location and facial recognition software. Under that system, people are contacted at random and required to provide proof of their location within 15 minutes.

Mr Andrews said people’s vaccination status and COVID test results would be taken into account in Victoria’s system.

“I think home-based quarantine is the answer, particularly for those who have been double dosed,” he said.