BALLARAT COVID UPDATE, THURSDAY OCTOBER 14
NEW CASES: 5 (down from nine yesterday)
ACTIVE CASES: 71 (up from 66 yesterday)
UPDATE, 12.15pm: Ballarat has recorded five new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to midnight on Wednesday.
Of the five new cases, three are in the 3350 postcode and two are in the 3352 postcode.
Three of the cases are under investigation and two are linked.
Compared to other regional centres, Ballarat continues to fare reasonably well in terms of daily numbers.
Golden Plains recorded one case and Moorabool recorded three.
Health authorities are becoming increasingly worried about COVID spread in regional Victoria, which has set a new record for daily infections.
There were 170 cases in the regions confirmed on Thursday, included in the statewide tally of 2,297 new cases.
There are now 1289 active cases outside of Melbourne.
He said there were 32 cases in Geelong, 30 in Shepparton, 23 in the Mildura area and 17 cases in both the Latrobe and Baw Baw shires.
There was also a death recorded in Shepparton; a man in his 70s.
"We can now see a significant number of cases again in our regional communities, that we're working very hard on with local players," Mr Weimar said.
"Although we can see our way through along the road map, we knew this was going to be difficult. The numbers today highlight how challenging this is, not only for all of us as Victorians to navigate our way through this COVID pandemic, but particularly those catching COVID and those who are becoming seriously ill with it.
"Please, everybody use this as a reminder for the last few weeks to do whatever we can to minimise transmission."
Meanwhile, year 12 students exposed to COVID-19 will still be able to sit their final exams in Victoria under changes that will see them put in separate rooms from their fellow pupils.
From next week, those deemed primary close contacts will have to get tested for coronavirus every 48 hours for the first week of their exposure, then again on day 13.
They will sit their exams in dedicated rooms with their own entrances, while otherwise complying with isolation orders of 14 days for unvaccinated students and seven days for those fully vaccinated.
"They will be supervised by staff wearing face shields and healthcare worker level PPE, the rooms will be safely ventilated and cleaned between each use," Education Minister James Merlino said on Thursday.
IN OTHER NEWS
Students who test positive for coronavirus will not be able to attend exams and will get a derived examination score for any assessments they miss, with disadvantage taken into account.
The state is also expanding its trial of rapid home testing announced a few weeks ago, to expand into school settings
EARLIER, 9am: Victoria has recorded its biggest day ever of COVID-19 infections.
There were 2,297 cases recorded in the 24 hours to midnight on Wednesday, comfortably the biggest day on record.
There were also 11 deaths recorded.
There was a massive 82,762 cases returned.
The huge spike in numbers followed seemingly steady numbers in terms of new infections.
Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday hinted the next step towards opening up Victoria could happen ahead of schedule.
Melbourne is set to exit lockdown on October 26 and regional Victoria will encounter a slight easing of restrictions once the state hits 70% double-does vaccination levels.
However, that could potentially be brought forward with projected vaccination rates about five days ahead of schedule.
An announcement on the possible easing of rules is expected later this week.
Reported yesterday: 2,297 new local cases and 0 cases acquired overseas.— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) October 13, 2021
- 37,611 vaccines administered
- 82,762 test results received
- Sadly, 11 people with COVID-19 have died
More later: https://t.co/OCCFTAtS1P#COVID19Vic#COVID19VicDatapic.twitter.com/akg1jkxcxP
In Ballarat, there were nine new cases confirmed on Wednesday, with seven of them linked, according to the health department.
Today's Ballarat figures will be released later today.
However, more cases are expected with a new outbreak at a Miners Rest horse racing stable.
Further outside Ballarat, there has been a suite of new Tier One exposure sites listed in Halls Gap.
A young Ballarat COVID survivor has also shared her tale of contracting COVID and ending up in hospital, urging people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Victoria's health boss is open to throwing off the shackles of Melbourne's COVID-19 lockdown before next weekend and possibly jettisoning a ban on home visits.
The state is on pace to reach its 70 per cent double vaccination target ahead of the indicative date of October 26, triggering the end of Melbourne's long- running sixth lockdown.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed a decision could be announced as early as this weekend based on firmer vaccination projections as well as intensive care and hospital case numbers.
Under the state's COVID-19 roadmap, home visits were set to be banned until 80 per cent of its 16-plus population received both vaccine doses.
But Professor Sutton said he was open to tweaking home gathering restrictions at the 70 per cent mark.
"We've always said, if we can do more, we will do more," he told ABC Radio on Wednesday afternoon.
"We're acutely aware of home gatherings leading to spikes and that was definitely a feature of (the AFL) grand final. They were people that didn't normally come together.
"It's different for families. If we can limit numbers, if we think the epidemiology looks okay, (I'm) absolutely open to that as well."
Victoria recorded 1571 new locally acquired infections and 13 deaths on Wednesday, the state's deadliest day of its third wave.
Prof Sutton noted the Doherty Institute modelling forecasts hundreds more deaths in coming months as restrictions ease across the state.
"The reality is our seasonal flu, year-on-year, causes an estimated 3000 excess deaths in Australia," he said.
"That's what we live with every year with flu. So we need to minimise to the fullest extent possible the deaths that we can."
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