Victoria has recorded 567 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and one death, as Melburnians prepare for another five weeks of hard lockdown under the state’s new restrictions roadmap.
Health authorities are yet to reveal how many of the new cases are linked to existing outbreaks.
The cases were detected from 50,915 test results received on Sunday, when Premier Daniel Andrews unveiled a roadmap indicating lockdown should begin to ease in Melbourne from October 26.
That step is based on the projected date when 70 per cent of Victorians aged 16+ will be vaccinated and could come sooner if the state’s vaccination rollout accelerates.
The state delivered 39,939 vaccine doses at state-run sites on Sunday.
The Premier said the painful path out of lockdown would put immense strain on the health system, but was necessary in order to pass through the “gateway” to a new stage of the pandemic.
The roadmap was met with dismay by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is calling for greater freedoms once the 70 per cent full-vaccination target is met.
But the nursing union has welcomed the cautious approach to easing restrictions, to prevent healthcare workers from facing “impossible decisions about who gets a hospital bed”.
Last night the City of Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast Shire and the Mitchell Shire went into lockdown in response to a surge of cases.
The regional city of Ballarat is also in lockdown and more COVID-19 exposure sites have been listed at Bendigo and Kyneton.
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