COVID-19 Updates in Victoria
Please visit https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/covidsafe-plan
This Chief Health Officer update is intended to provide clinicians and the Victorian public with information about the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria as well as relevant public health response activities in Victoria. Chief Health Officer Alerts will continue to be issued when there are changes to the public health advice related to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Victoria has recorded one new case of COVID-19 since yesterday from an air crew member in hotel quarantine.
The total number of COVID-19 cases reported in Victoria is now 20,482.
There were no new deaths and the state’s death toll stands at 820.
The number of active cases in Victoria is five. This includes four locally acquired cases and one overseas acquired case.
A total of 5,074,574 test results have been received. This is an increase of 9,993 since yesterday.
You can find further details in today’s COVID-19 media release -> https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-update-victoria-8-march-2021.
The DH website has full details in the interactive daily report-https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-coronavirus-covid-19-data
Easing of restrictions
At 11:59pm Friday 26 February, Victoria returned to the previous COVIDSafe Settings that were in place prior to the Black Rock outbreak.
Victorians are now able to host up to 30 people in their home per day and outdoor gatherings can increase to 100.
Meanwhile, public and private sector office workers can return to work at up to 75 per cent a day.
Face masks will only be required on public transport, in rideshare vehicles and taxis, in sensitive settings such as aged care facilities – and in some larger retail settings including indoor shopping centres, supermarkets, department stores and indoor markets.
Density limits remain for pubs, restaurants and cafes, beauty services, retail business, gyms, funerals and wedding and nightclubs and community facilities, such as libraries, RSLs and community halls.
For more information on the new COVIDSafe Settings visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria.
COVID-19 vaccination program
A total of 844 COVID-19 vaccination doses were administered yesterday at hospital vaccination hubs across Victoria.
This brings the total number of vaccine doses administered in Victoria since the program started on Monday 22 February to 14,422.
The first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have started to arrive at Victoria’s hospital vaccination hubs, with 50,800 doses provided by the Commonwealth initially.
From Monday 1 March vaccinations have commenced from the Bendigo and Ballarat hubs. These hubs will focus on public sector residential aged care residents throughout this week.
Victorians with the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19 are being prioritised for the vaccine, including: Hotel Quarantine and Health Hotel workers, airport and port workers, and frontline health staff in COVID-19 screening clinics, specialist COVID-19 wards, Intensive Care Units, Emergency Departments, and more.
The vaccines are being administered through hospital vaccination hubs managed by public health services. Hubs also manage several special outreach sites including at Melbourne Airport and the Port of Portland.
Hubs will also deliver the vaccine to public sector residential aged care patients and workers, with the Commonwealth responsible for providing the vaccine to the private sector aged care and disability sectors.
All nine hospital vaccination hubs will commence operations over the coming weeks.
The Victorian Government is working closely with the Commonwealth on the rollout of its vaccination program.
Testing sites and expanded testing
Demand for testing is stable across the system, with no waiting times longer than 30 minutes.
The department is publishing expected wait times at testing sites as well as updated information about locations and hours of operation at Where to get tested.
New Zealand Travel Bubble
From 11.59pm Wednesday 24 February all flights arriving from Auckland into Victoria will be regarded as ‘red zone’ arrivals and anyone arriving will be required to enter mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days.
Those who arrived in Melbourne from Auckland on Tuesday 23 February, are asked to get a COVID-19 test immediately and quarantine until they receive a negative test result.
Interstate border restrictions
All travel into Victoria from other states and territories requires a travel permit. You can apply for a permit via the Service Victoria website.
Current advice to clinicians
Statement on Rapid Antigen Testing for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) diagnosis in symptomatic persons (Word).
Notifications to the department of a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus (COVID-19) can be done online. You can submit an online form to our public health team, rather than calling us, saving you time and resolving your case load more efficiently.
COVID-19 testing criteria
Practitioners should test any patients who meet the clinical criteria below:
Fever OR chills in the absence of an alternative diagnosis that explains the clinical presentation* OR
Acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, or loss or changes in sense of smell or taste)
Note: testing is also recommended for people with new onset of other clinical symptoms consistent with coronavirus (COVID-19)** AND who are from the following cohorts: close contacts of a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19); those who have returned from overseas in the past 14 days; or those who are healthcare or aged care workers. Testing is recommended for those cohorts with onset of other clinical symptoms**. Asymptomatic testing is not recommended at this stage except for targeted programs
*Clinical discretion applies including consideration of the potential for co-infection (e.g. concurrent infection with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza)
**headache, myalgia, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea.
If a symptomatic patient that presents for testing, confirms exposure to a known coronavirus (COVID-19) case within the past 14 days, and the outbreak definition is met, the test sample is to be treated as an ‘outbreak sample’.
Victoria’s restriction levels
The State of Emergency has been extended until 11:59pm on 16 December 2021 to allow the Chief Health Officer’s directions to remain in force.