Victoria records 766 new local cases of COVID-19 and four deaths, protester in hospital with coronavirus – ABC News

by health and nutrition advice journalist

Victoria has recorded four further COVID-19 deaths and 766 new local cases, representing the highest single-day tally ever recorded in the state.

Key points:

The new infections were detected from 62,408 test results processed on Wednesday.

It brings the total number of active cases to 6,666.

The deaths of a man in his 80s from Moreland, a man in his 70s from Hume, a man in his 80s from Hume, and a woman in her 90s from Hume take the total of this outbreak to 20.

There are 257 people who are currently in hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 60 are in an intensive care unit and 41 are on a ventilator.

Of those in hospital, 81 per cent were not vaccinated, 15 per cent were partially vaccinated and just 3 per cent of people were fully vaccinated.

A man who attended yesterdays protests at the Shrine of Remembrance has tested positive to COVID-19.

The man is in hospital but not in ICU, health sources have told the ABC.

More than 200 protesters demonstrating against mandatory vaccinations and the lockdown were arrested following a stand-off yesterday with police.

There were 40,957 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered at state-run sites.

Victoria has now reached 75.2 per cent first dose vaccination coverage and at least 45.6 per cent double dose.

The city is expected to be in lockdown until late October, when it is forecast that 70 per cent of the 16-plus population will have had two doses. Greater freedoms will be granted only after an 80 per cent target is met.

That will mean the city will be in lockdown for 267 days in total, which will surpass the lockdown lengths of other cities like Buenos Aires, Dublin and London.

According to Burnet Institute modelling underpinning the roadmap out of lockdown, Victoria is expected to hit a peak of between 1,400 and 2,900 daily cases between October 19 and 31.

Victorians in Sydney can return home if double vaccinated

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Victorians in an “extreme risk zone”, like Sydney, will be eligible to return home to Victoria if they are double vaccinated and return a negative test within 72 hours of arriving.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced those stuck in those risk zones will now be able to come home as of September 30.

They will have to do 14 days of quarantine at home. If people are unable to do home quarantine, Mr Andrews said the state would aim to assist them with other accommodation.

“That’s a big step forward,” he said.

“We don’t want to have people locked out of their state and we don’t want people locked into their home. That’s why vaccination is so important.”

More than 80 complaints were made to the ombudsman’s office about the strict border closures, many of whom are Victorian residents attempting to return home.

Victoria closed its border with New South Wales on July 9, following Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton declaring all of New South Wales an “extreme risk zone”.

Other parts of the state have since been downgraded to red zones, requiring people to undergo 14 days of quarantine at home.

Government ‘rationing Pfizer’

He said that he pushed back at the number of doses, but that he could not be blamed if “the Commonwealth did not order it at the right time or get enough supply”.

“I do not think it is fair to blame the state government for the amount of vaccine we have got because vaccine is not ordered by us,” he said.

He said healthcare workers had been prioritised for months, and that high vaccination levels within the construction sector were also crucial because of the “clear risk” of transmission.

“I think there is a degree of urgency when it comes to the construction sector because of the number of cases we have seen,” he said.

Mr Andrews said that yesterday’s protests against mandatory vaccinations at the Shrine of Remembrance were “deeply offensive”.

“It’s a sacred place,” he said.

“It’s not appropriate to be there, you should be there for silent reflection. Not violent protests.”

The first dose is required by October 18, and the second by November 29.

Teaching joins construction and healthcare among the sectors where vaccination is mandatory.

Grand final weekend ‘dangerous’ for visits

Deputy Chief Health Officer Deb Friedman has warned Victorians not to use the Grand Final weekend for home visits or group gatherings.

“If we want to make sure that our next public holiday may afford us some of those opportunities, it is incredibly important to make sure that you don’t use this weekend to visit friends, to visit your cousin, to visit your parents,” Ms Friedman said.

She said catching COVID-19 would be “one of the most dangerous things that could be done this long weekend”.

“So instead, we urge people to use the day off to go and get vaccinated,” she said.

It comes as the City of Ballarat wakes to its first morning out of lockdown for a week.

The region now aligns with the rest of the state — barring locked-down Melbourne, Geelong, Surf Coast and Mitchell Shire — and masks must still be worn indoors and outdoors.

The town of Point Lonsdale, which is divided between the City of Greater Geelong and the Borough of Queenscliffe, has also come out of lockdown to unite with the Borough of Queenscliffe, which is currently not included in Geelong’s lockdown. 

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This content was originally published here.

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