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).

12/4/2021

What's new?

  • Victoria has recorded  2 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday. This includes 0 locally acquired and 2 overseas acquired.
  • The total number of COVID-19 cases reported in Victoria is now 20,487.
  • There were no new deaths and the state’s death toll stands at 820.
  • Victoria has 3 active cases. This includes 0 locally acquired cases and 3 overseas acquired cases;
  • A total of 5,567,211 test results have been received. This is an increase of 9,503 since yesterday.
  • You can find further details in today’s COVID-19 media release.
  • The DH website has full details in the interactive daily report.

Update: Vaccinations

  • A total of 903 COVID-19 vaccination doses were administered yesterday by state commissioned services across Victoria. This brings the total number of vaccine doses administered by the Department as of yesterday to 144,320.
  • Victoria is continuing to support the Commonwealth with its vaccination program with further expansion of the program dependant on vaccine supply
  • As part of the Commonwealth’s rollout, Victoria is responsible for providing vaccinations to workers in health, emergency services and other critical industries and public sector aged care residents and staff. The Commonwealth is responsible for the majority of vaccinations in Victoria in phase 1b and most of the vaccine supply in Victoria is provided to Commonwealth-run general practice sites.
  • A case of unusual clotting after the AstraZeneca vaccine has been reported at a Melbourne hospital. For further information please refer to the statements below.
  • Victoria's state-run vaccination centres will continue pausing administration of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as health officials continue to work through the implications of advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).
  • Last week, the Victorian Department of Health advised health services to reschedule any forward bookings for people aged under 50 years receiving their first dose of AstraZeneca until further information was received from the Commonwealth.
  • The Department has today advised all state commissioned vaccination services to continue this pause until:
    • Further provider and consumer information is made available by the Commonwealth and translated into languages other than& English;
    • A new and compulsory training package is completed by all staff administering vaccines; and
    • The Department and health services are satisfied with legal advice received on indemnity.
  • These requirements will ensure an informed decision can be made by people aged under 50 years preparing to receive a first dose of AstraZeneca – as recommended by ATAGI. However, informed consent should be obtained from all people (of any age) who receive vaccines.
  • They will also ensure practitioners responsible for its administration are indemnified, and state-run sites can continue to run smoothly and vaccinate Victorians responsibly.
  • Victoria remains supportive of the Commonwealth’s program and aims to ensure Victorians are immunised against coronavirus as quickly and as safely as possible.
  • As such, the Victorian Government has asked the Commonwealth Government to divert future AstraZeneca deliveries scheduled for state sites over the next fortnight to Victorian GPs.
  • This will provide additional supplies enabling GPs to vaccinate Victorians over the age of 70 years as quickly as possible.
  • Health services are advised to continue to provide the AstraZeneca vaccine to eligible people aged 50 years and over, and to eligible people receiving their second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine without any previous severe adverse reaction, in line with ATAGI’s recommendations.
  • This advice does not affect the delivery of the Pfizer vaccine through state commissioned sites where supply is available.
  • Victorian health officials continue to work closely with the Commonwealth, health services, and representatives of general practice to understand the full clinical and operational implications of ATAGI’s recommendations on the broader vaccine rollout across Victoria.
  • Health services across Victoria – and all their clinical decision makers and dedicated health professionals – have worked hard to understand and implement the updated ATAGI advice.
  • Throughout this pandemic, health professionals have continued to adapt and keep Victorians safe. The department is enormously grateful for their dedication.

Update: Viral fragments detected in south-east wastewater catchment

Last week, fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 were detected in wastewater samples taken from a sewer catchment in Melbourne’s south east.

Anyone with even mild COVID-19 symptoms is urged to get tested, especially people who live in or have visited these areas from 4 to 6 April:

  • Clayton, Clayton South, Dingley Village, Glen Waverley, Mount Waverley, Mulgrave, Notting Hill, Springvale, Springvale South and Wheelers Hill. 

Fragments of the virus detected in wastewater may be due to a person with COVID-19 being in the early active infectious phase or it could be because someone is continuing to shed the virus after the infectious period.

For further information about the wastewater testing program visit Wastewater testing.

Update: Travel permit zones

  • Based on an assessment of public health risks, the Chief Health Officer has declared the following areas are now designated green zones under Victoria’s ‘traffic light’ travel permit system as of 11:59 yesterday,11 April:
    • Greater Brisbane (City of Brisbane, City of Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay Region, Redlands City)
    • The Gladstone region in Queensland
    • Byron Shire in New South Wales
  • Arrivals from green zones still require a permit to enter Victoria, because the information provided supports the speed of Victoria’s response should the public health situation in any location change.
  • Permits can be obtained at Service Victoria.
  • For more information on Victoria’s travel permit system, visit Victorian Travel Permit System. The Chief Health Officer will continue monitoring the situation and will provide further updates as needed.

Update: Travel advice for Victorians

  • Everyone planning an interstate trip should be aware of our travel permit system, and what it will mean for you and your family if you’re in a location that gets designated an orange or a red zone.
  • Victorians know that this virus can move rapidly. We make decisions based on public health advice and sometimes that advice must be implemented quickly.

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.

COVID-19 wastewater testing

  • Wastewater monitoring is being undertaken across Victoria including at wastewater treatment plants and sites within Melbourne metropolitan sewage networks.
  • Further information about the wastewater testing program can be found at Wastewater testing.

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

  • 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 7 May 2021 to allow the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s directions to remain in force.

Clinical information

Online resources

Mental health resources

  • Many Victorians are feeling fatigued, isolated or lonely. If you are in need of support for your mental health there are mental health resources you can access on our website.
  • If Victorians are not safe at home, they can seek help and support at an Orange Door or other family violence support service. If you or someone you know is at risk or experiencing family violence, call 000 in an emergency or safe steps 24/7 crisis service on 1800 015 188.
  • The Partners in Wellbeing hotline (1300 375 330) is available for referrals from people who identify as LGBTIQ, multicultural, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, veterans and people experiencing homelessness.

Consumer information

Contacts

Medical practitioners needing clinical information or to notify confirmed cases can contact the Department of Health Communicable Diseases Section on 1300 651 160 (24 hours).

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