Ballarat to be plunged into lockdown as Shepparton cleared to open
Long lines formed at Ballarat test sites on Tuesday after two popular restaurants and a Big W were listed as Level 1 exhibition sites.
Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney said on Wednesday that another test site would be set up soon to meet continued high demand in the coming days.
“When people saw these locations on the exhibit site list, everyone was quite resigned that it would get worse before it got better,” Cr Moloney said.
Professor Sutton said the lockdown gave Ballarat “the best chance to reopen as soon as possible”.
“Shepparton showed us the way: that you can control even the Delta variant, even with dozens and dozens of cases,” he said.
Mr Andrews said: “Shepparton shows you that a community can be locked down, can stay together, can be supported and provide fundamental control of an epidemic.
“We know, and we are very confident, that this is exactly what can happen in the Ballarat community.”
Shepparton’s strict lockdown will ease from 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, with new restrictions to match the rest of the Victoria area.
Victoria records two deaths, 423 cases
Two men, one in their 40s and the other in their 70s, have died from COVID-19 in Victoria.
Mr Andrews said the man in his 40s was from Whittlesea, while the other man, in his 70s, was from the Wyndham area.
“We express our deepest condolences and sympathies,” said Mr. Andrews.
The state recorded 423 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, 149 of which were linked to current outbreaks.
The number of new cases was 22 fewer than Tuesday and 50 fewer than Monday.
However, Professor Sutton warned that the number of cases in the state had not yet peaked and modeling suggested they would likely increase.
” The risk [daily new cases] reaching 1000 is real, so we need to keep vaccinations at the fastest rate possible for that reason alone, ”he said.
Nearly 77,000 vaccines were given in Victoria on Tuesday, including 36,615 at state-run centers, while 42,694 COVID-19 tests were processed.
There are now 4,038 active cases in the state.
More cases added to Melbourne construction site outbreak
Ten more cases were added to cases of an outbreak at a Box Hill construction site.
COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar said a total of 146 cases were now linked to the construction site.
Five other cases have been linked to Fitzroy Community School, whose principal was accused of telling parents their children could still come to school on lockdown.
This outbreak now has 38 cases in total, Mr Weimar said, and 76 primary close contacts.
Opening Now is Dangerous: Andrews
Andrews said with half of the state not yet fully immunized, it would be irresponsible and dangerous to open up fully.
Mr Andrews said on Wednesday that 68.3% of Victorians had received their first dose, but less than 50% had received two.
He reiterated on Sunday his intention to outline a roadmap for the state.
“We’re not at 50 percent double-dose yet … the idea of opening now is not only irresponsible, it’s dangerous,” Andrews said.
The prime minister said the state is expected to meet the target of 70% of people receiving a dose of the vaccine by Thursday and may announce a minor easing of restrictions before Sunday.
“I don’t sell that too much. It is modest. The notion of extra time and extra distance to be able to travel from home to exercise, if we can go further than that with some social interactions as well… we will have these announcements as soon as possible, ”he said. declared.
The government pledged weeks ago to increase the travel limit from five kilometers to 10 kilometers and exercise time from two to three hours when the goal of 70% first dose has been met. This was originally scheduled for September 23.
Victoria Police warn protesters against Saturday’s protest
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton warned protesters planning to attend an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday that officers would arrest and fine those who did not comply with COVID-19 instructions.
Mr Patton also announced his intention to cut the city’s public transport network between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday to prevent people from traveling into town for the rally.
“This is an illegal gathering, and we will do everything possible to prevent this gathering,” he said.
Mr Patton, said there will be more than 2,000 police officers patrolling Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday, making it one of the largest operations in decades.
“This will be one of our biggest operations that we have done, I think, since the World Economic Forum many years ago,” he said.
Small outdoor gatherings on the horizon
Professor Catherine Bennett, president of epidemiology at Deakin University, supported allowing two households to meet outside before the big day of the AFL Grand Finals.
“The chance to meet outdoors in a park, have a picnic or just sit there … and read a book.” There is space, we have the weather, it’s a fundamentally safe activity if you do the right thing, ”Prof Bennett said. Age Wednesday.
Professor Bennett said two households can meet safely if they maintain a physical distance and wear masks. She said people need to remember that bringing households together brings exhibitions together. For example, one household may only go to the supermarket, while another household is made up of people who have to go to work.
She said this small reward could help the public continue to cooperate with the rules in the long run.
Professor Nancy Baxter, clinical epidemiologist and head of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, predicted that the government would grant low-risk external freedoms to maintain public acceptance of blockages and offer a signal of hope.
Professor Baxter said the Victorian community was understandably keen on loosening public health rules, but waiting even a few weeks – when vaccination rates improve – could reduce the risk of an increase in cases as restrictions were relaxed.
“It could mean we have a much better Christmas and avoid putting pressure on the healthcare system,” she said.
National vaccine mandate for upcoming healthcare workers: Andrews
Andrews said the national cabinet was likely to confirm that healthcare workers would be subject to mandatory vaccinations.
New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia have already announced mandatory vaccinations for the sector and elderly care workers are already required to be fully vaccinated to work.
Earlier Wednesday, St Vincent’s Health announced it would require its staff in three states, including Victoria, to be vaccinated.
Managing Director Toby Hall said even though 70% of his staff nationwide were fully vaccinated, outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales confirmed that a mandatory policy was the right decision.
The mandate will apply to all staff, volunteers and contractors to be vaccinated at its 16 public and private hospitals across Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
“St Vincent’s Health vaccination policy will apply to all staff who do not fall under these existing mandates. We see this as a complementary and logical step in the process of keeping our sites as safe as possible as Australia learns to live with COVID-19 for the long term, ”said Hall.
Mr Hall said only a “very small” number of staff can be resistant or have “specific sensitivities” to the mandate.
The Australian Medical Association has pushed for nationally consistent mandatory vaccination for all frontline medical staff.
“We have said that Australia’s plans to reopen will be a disaster unless our healthcare sector is ready and that will mean having a fully protected medical workforce,” the chairman of the AMA, Dr Omar Khorshid.
Elderly caregivers are already subject to a vaccination mandate.
Racing Victoria, the first sports organization to impose COVID-19 jabs
Racing Victoria announced on Wednesday that all staff and participants, including coaches and jockeys, must be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of entry to its workplaces and licensed premises.
The no-jab and no-entry policy will apply to the racing areas of Victorian racetracks on race days and public training centers, as well as the headquarters and offices of Racing Victoria in Flemington. All Racing Victoria personnel and “authorized and registered participants” will need to be fully vaccinated in order to enter.
With Paul Sakkal, David Estcourt, Ben Preiss and Claire Siracusa
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