Australia Corona Virus

Victoria records 514 new COVID cases as state on cusp of vaccination milestone

Source: ABCnews

Victoria has recorded 514 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, as regional communities in the state transition in and out of lockdown.

Contact tracers have linked just 148 of the new cases to known outbreaks.

There were 61,961 test results received on Tuesday, and 41,758 doses of vaccine were administered at state-run sites.

Around 68.3 per cent of Victorians have now had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with the state expected to reach its 70 per cent first-dose vaccination target for those aged 16 or older today or tomorrow.

While the state government has earmarked modest easing of restrictions after the target has been reached, the Victorian branch of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) says it would be “reckless” to reopen the state at that stage.

The AMA has called for COVID restrictions to remain unchanged until two weeks after 80 per cent of people aged over 12 are fully vaccinated, a feat not projected to be completed until November.

In Melbourne, police have warned public transport into the city centre will be shut down for six hours on the weekend in a bid to thwart a planned anti-lockdown protest.

Police will stop all train, bus and tram services from reaching the CBD between 8:00am and 2:00pm Saturday.

Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said the extraordinary intervention was based on public advice about the risk of large numbers of people converging as the state’s outbreak worsened and vaccination rates remained low.

Shepparton restrictions ease as Ballarat re-enters lockdown

The near-empty Maude Street Mall, on a clear bright day with blue skies.
The Greater Shepparton area left lockdown at 11:59pm on Wednesday, just as Ballarat entered its seven day snap lockdwon.(AAP: Daniel Pockett)

Shepparton residents were able to celebrate the easing of restrictions overnight, following three days of no new COVID cases. 

In contrast, the City of Ballarat has been thrown into a seven-day lockdown in a bid to pull up a chain of transmission that has been running through the community over the past week.

Several building sites in the Ballarat area have been listed as tier 1 exposure sites, with four new cases detected yesterday.

It follows repeated wastewater detections of COVID in the Ballarat catchment area since August 30.

“We know this will be disappointing for the Ballarat community, but we’d rather get on top of these cases open up again as quickly as possible, than let cases get out of control in the area,” Premier Daniel Andrews said when he announced Ballarat’s lockdown on Wednesday.