BALLARAT COVID UPDATE, Friday, September 24
NEW CASES: One
ACTIVE CASES: 20 (up from 19 on Wednesday)
Ballarat has a recorded another new COVID case but unlike Thursday's notification, this one has heath authorities concerned they may have been infectious while in the community.
Chief Health officer Brett Sutton made the announcement on Thursday as part of what he described as a "a slow, but steady increase" in cases in regional Victoria.
"There were 27 cases in regional VIC yesterday. Ballarat's seen one new case," Prof Sutton said.
"This person, unfortunately, may have been infectious while in the community. We're looking into the possible source for that individual."
There were also new cases in Moorabool and three new cases in the shire of Campaspe, east of Bendigo.
"There were two new cases in Moorabool, I don't have further details at this stage and again they were late in what we have a number of cases in Bacchus Marsh this week with links to workplaces in Melbourne," he said.
Professor Sutton also used the press conference to warn people about the risks of visiting homes over the Grand Final long weekend.
"That's how we are seeing transmission occur," Professor Sutton said.
"I want people to enjoy the weekend but please be aware of that risk and not be the person to put your household, put your mates and family households at risk. It's those close contacts that put you, your friends, and your household is at risk."
Prof Sutton said footy's biggest day should be enjoyed by everybody but needed to be done safely.
"Barrack, cry, scream and laugh over the internet to connect with friends and family and enjoy the spirit of the day in full, " he said.
"Enjoy your fancy cheese boards or whatever you want to enjoy at home. Put the barbecue on, put your iPad up, have your phones on FaceTime.
Health Minister Martin Foley also announced the upcoming of the next stage of the vaccine roll-out with the availability of Moderna.
"The pharmacies will be receiving more than 300,000 doses of Moderna over the coming weeks," Mr Foley said.
"And those will be distributed across more than 700 pharmacy locations in the state, starting off, quite rightly, in those high-demand and high-outbreak areas of the north and the west of Melbourne and to the south-east. People can visit findapharmacy.com.au to find the nearest pharmacy that administers Moderna."
Earlier Victoria recorded 733 new COVID-19 cases, including a man who attended an anti-lockdown protest, and another death.
The new infections bring the number of active cases in the state to 7160.The state's health department said more information would be provided on the death later on Friday.
It brings the toll from the current outbreak to 21. There were 56,520 coronavirus tests processed and 41,029 vaccine doses administered at state-run hubs on Thursday.
Victoria recorded 766 new infections were announced Thursday - its highest ever daily COVID-19 case tally - and four deaths, bringing the latest outbreak's toll to 20.
THE LATEST IN BALLARAT
Ballarat's lockdown was lifted on Wednesday night, removing the five reasons to leave the house - while masks are still required and home visits are still banned, people are able to see up to 10 other people outside, and retail and hospitality can reopen with density quotients.
The Ballarat GovHub, both the office block and the public-facing VicRoads site, has been re-listed as Tier 2 exposure sites.
Meanwhile demonstrators who attended the third day of recurring Melbourne protests have been encouraged to get tested as a fellow mob member battles COVID-19 in hospital.
Victoria's health department has confirmed a person is being treated in hospital after attending Wednesday's at-times violent rally.
"Public health investigations are under way," a spokesman said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.
"We are urging protesters to get tested should they experience COVID-like symptoms, no matter how mild."
The infection will be included in Friday's official case tally.
The COVID-positive protester was among a mob of 400 to 600 who swarmed the Victorian capital on Wednesday, despite stay-at-home orders and repeated warnings from authorities.
Chanting "every day" from the Shrine of Remembrance, hundreds without masks, some still wearing high-visibility clothing, marched through the city to the war memorial.
Riot squad members fired tear gas and other non-lethal rounds when rioters became increasingly hostile and refused to leave, with two officers injured and 215 arrests.
The demonstrations initially began in opposition to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for the construction sector and the closure of building site tea rooms, but have since turned into wider unrest.
A fourth day of the planned protests was a non-event, with demonstrators largely a no-show on Thursday despite flagging potential meeting sites.
Police pounced on protesters before they were able to gather in significant numbers, making 92 arrests.
SEE THE ROADMAP TO REOPENING
Meanwhile, stranded Victorians fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will soon be allowed to return home from Greater Sydney.
From September 30, double-dosed Victorians stuck anywhere in NSW can come home if they return a negative test 72 hours before departure, isolate at home for 14 days and get tested at the start and end of quarantine.
- with AAP
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