Media release
21 October 2021

Victoria was notified of 2,235 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. 2,232 were locally acquired cases and three cases were acquired overseas in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

There are 22,889 active cases in Victoria.

There are 779 COVID-19 cases in hospital in Victoria. 141 of those cases are in intensive care, with 96 cases on a ventilator.

Sadly, the Department was notified of 12 deaths yesterday.

This brings the total number of deaths in Victoria since the pandemic began to 1,005.

The total number of confirmed cases in Victoria since the beginning of the pandemic is 73,151.

Restrictions

Today, Victoria has reached its 70 per cent double dose vaccination target and the lockdown and curfew will lift in restricted areas across Victoria at 11:59pm tonight.

The lifting of lockdown restrictions will also apply to the residents of the Rural City of Mildura from 11.59pm tonight. This means Mildura will return to the same settings as the rest of regional Victoria.

Vaccination rates in Mildura has risen dramatically with more than 95 per cent of Mildura residents aged 16 years and over now vaccinated with one dose. Mildura’s second dose rate is at 65 per cent and is closing in on the state average.

For more information on eased restrictions across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria from 11.59pm tonight, visit Victoria’s Roadmap.

For information on current restrictions, visit How we live: metropolitan Melbourne and Mildura Rural City Council. This page will be updated when new restrictions come into effect.

While information on COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Directions can be found at Information for industry and workers required to be vaccinated, all businesses are also urged to review their employee vaccination requirements against Victoria’s Roadmap.

The Roadmap provides for a progressive reopening with increased capacity limits across various settings when all attendees are fully vaccinated. This includes workers. The option of increased capacity limits will only apply if everyone present is fully vaccinated or has a valid medical exemption.

This means if your staff are not fully vaccinated, you may not be able to open or to apply the eased capacity limits offered in the Roadmap. Encourage your workers to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

From 11.59pm tonight, non-household primary close contacts who are fully vaccinated only need to quarantine for 7 days. For more information, see Safe and sensible isolation changes as we hit 70 per cent

Update: Isolation protocols

At 11:59pm tonight, updated isolation protocols will be in place for new and existing close contacts who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and who don’t live in the same house as someone who has COVID-19.

A close contact is a person who has come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 (such as at work or a public exposure site) and has to quarantine.

Under the new protocols, non-household primary close contacts who are fully vaccinated will only need to quarantine for 7 days, instead of 14. To be released, they will need to return negative test results from a test taken on day 6 of their quarantine.

Household and/or unvaccinated PCCs will still be required to isolate for 14 days. This includes children and people who have a medical exemption to COVID-19 vaccination, due to the high risk of transmission in households.

Process for new primary close contacts

People who are identified as close contacts after 11:59pm tonight will receive an interactive SMS to determine their eligibility for the reduced 7 day quarantine. Verification and audit measures will be in place, including checking against immunisation records.

If the contact is eligible for the 7 day quarantine period, they will be informed of their quarantine length and sent a subsequent test reminder by SMS to get tested on day 6. If a negative test result is received from a test taken on day 6, the contact can leave quarantine from 11:59pm on day 7 of their quarantine period.

Process for existing primary close contacts

The Department will tomorrow send an SMS to approximately 23,000 existing primary close contacts who we determine may be eligible for reduced quarantine. The SMS will ask if you are fully vaccinated and if you live with a confirmed case. Should a response to the message not be received, you may receive a phone call to verify.

The SMS will advise contacts of their reduced quarantine period and new day 6 testing requirements. It will state:

“You must have a negative test result on day 6 of your quarantine period to be able to finish quarantine. Once you receive your negative test result you can stop quarantining at 11:59pm on your day 7. If you are already past day 6 of your quarantine period, you can get tested immediately and will be free to leave quarantine as soon as you get your negative test result.”

When relevant Chief Health Officer Directions come into place at 11:59pm, this information will be published online at What to do if you are a close contact of a person diagnosed with COVID-19

Vaccines

Yesterday, 37,824 vaccine doses were administered by Victoria’s state-commissioned services.

The total number of doses administered through state-run services is 4,311,454.

Yesterday, Victoria surpassed the 90 per cent rate for first dose vaccinations in people aged 16 years and over. This means we are on track to become one of the most highly vaccinated jurisdictions in the world.

While the current high rate of vaccination is encouraging, the government is continuing its efforts to boost vaccination rates in Local Government Areas with lower coverage by hosting mini pop-up clinics to remove any remaining barriers to vaccine access.

As part of this push, 30 vaccination centres across Victoria will open to walk-up Pfizer appointments with no booking required and nine pop-up clinics will launch in partnership with youth mental health organisation, headspace.

Details about these new clinics can be found at Greater access to vaccinations in Victoria’s final push

In addition, this weekend there will be 17 school pop-up vaccination sites in key suburbs and towns, including Cranbourne West, Epping, Frankston North, Melton, Mildura and Box Hill.

We have just over 500,000 second doses to go to reach our 80 per cent double dose vaccination target.

Victorians are encouraged to book their COVID-19 vaccination through their local GP or community pharmacy, community health service or state vaccination centre. To find a GP or pharmacy provider and make a booking, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website

More mental health support

Today, the government announced a boost to mental health services as the state recovers from the pandemic.

More details can be found at Mental health support through and beyond the pandemic.

Schools

A new Schools and Early Learning Centre Outbreak Management Plan has been developed in partnership with the Department of Education and Training.

The plan guides schools and early learning centres on assessing the risk posed by COVID-19 cases, and aims to minimise the impacts to children, students and staff.

If a facility is regularly cleaned in line with their COVIDSafe plan, then deep cleaning will generally not be required after a case has been present.

Single cases and exposures are unlikely to result in extended school closures, however short closures may be required to assess who has been in contact with the case and to undertake notifications.

Contact with positive cases will be assessed by the nature and location of the contact, whether masks were worn and the vaccination status of the contact.

Only high-risk contacts will be quarantined for either seven or 14 days, depending on their vaccination status.

Outbreaks

Data on Victorian coronavirus cases is available at Victorian COVID-19 data.

There are currently more than 65,600 active primary close contacts in isolation in Victoria.

The Commonwealth Government publishes a weekly Common Operating Picture, which includes the effective reproduction number for all states and territories. For more information, refer to Coronavirus (COVID-19) common operating picture.

Update: Border Permit changes

All Local Government Areas in the Greater Sydney region – including Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong – are now orange zones.

All Local Government Areas in the remainder of regional New South Wales, plus Jervis Bay Territory, have moved from red/orange zones to green zones.

In addition, Broken Hill in New South Wales and Shepparton in Victoria have re-joined the New South Wales-Victoria cross-border community area.

The ACT remains an orange zone.

These changes came into effect at the same time as broader changes to Victoria’s travel permit system announced last week. More information is available at Permit overhaul to make safe border changes.

This means, effective from 11:59pm on Tuesday 19 October, if you have had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine and you have been in the Sydney area (which is now an orange zone), you can enter Victoria on an orange zone permit without any quarantine or testing requirements.

People who are not fully vaccinated entering on an orange zone permit must isolate on arrival, get tested within 72 hours, and stay isolated until they receive a negative result.

Information has been published online at Victorian travel permit system.

People travelling to Victoria must follow all Chief Health Officer Directions in place while in Victoria.

Testing

79,544 COVID-19 tests were processed in Victoria.

If you are concerned about losing money from missing work to get a test, support is available – including the $450 test isolation payment. For more information, go to Financial and other support for COVID-19

To find your nearest COVID-19 testing site, visit Where to get tested for COVID-19. Operating hours and wait times will vary.

More information

To access the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Victoria, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria website or call the 24-hour Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can also call the Victorian Aboriginal COVID Information Line on 1800 312 911. Callers will speak with Aboriginal staff who can answer questions about COVID-19 and direct them to relevant support services. The information line is open from 9 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week.

Latest statewide numbers (data reported to 11:59pm yesterday):

Cases acquired locally Cases acquired interstate Cases acquired overseas Active cases Lives lost Tests processed yesterday Total tests since pandemic began 
2,232 0 3 22,889 12 79,544 12,643,959

 

Number of permits issued 

(Jan 11 - 7am today)

Number of permit applications processed in the past 24 hours Average # of permits issued per minute in the past 24 hours 

3,835,456

7,284 5.06