This Chief Health Officer update is intended to provide clinicians and the Victorian public with information about the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria as well as relevant public health response activities. Chief Health Officer Alerts will continue to be issued when there are changes to the public health advice related to COVID-19.
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16/09/2021

What's new?

Victoria was notified of 514 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. All were locally acquired, with 11 historic cases reclassified.

There are 4,370 active cases in Victoria – 4,367 locally acquired and three overseas-acquired cases.

The total number of confirmed cases in Victoria since the beginning of the pandemic is 26,942.

Update: Restrictions

With Victoria due to hit its 70 per cent first-dose vaccination target tomorrow, the Chief Health Officer has recommended some modest easing to restrictions from 11:59 pm on Friday 17 September 2021.

Restrictions on outdoor social interaction and gatherings, outdoor exercise and the distance people can travel from their home will ease in in lockdown areas of metropolitan Melbourne and Ballarat.

In regional Victoria (excluding Ballarat), gyms and swimming pools will reopen with capacity limits.

For more information, refer to New freedoms when 70 percent first dose target reached.

Vaccines

An additional 10,000 Pfizer doses have been allocated to Ballarat over the next two to three weeks. New appointments for residents will be made available regularly.

Yesterday, 41,758 vaccine doses were administered by Victoria’s state-commissioned services. The total number of doses administered through state-run services is 2,985,448.

There are currently more than 6,000 first-dose Pfizer appointments and more than 9,500 first-dose AstraZeneca appointments available over the next seven days.

Under current public-health directions, getting vaccinated is not a reason to travel from a restricted area to a non-restricted regional area and vice versa.

Outbreaks

Of the 514 local cases diagnosed yesterday, 148 were linked to current cases as of this morning. More cases are expected to be linked to current cases and outbreaks as investigations continue.

The following Local Government Areas recorded more than one newly diagnosed case yesterday:

  • 3 cases in Ballarat
  • 11 cases in Banyule
  • 26 cases in Brimbank
  • 3 cases in Cardinia
  • 13 cases in Casey
  • 14 cases in Darebin
  • 5 cases in Glen Eira
  • 13 cases in Greater Dandenong
  • 2 cases in Greater Geelong
  • 16 cases in Hobsons Bay
  • 175 cases in Hume
  • 8 cases in Manningham
  • 3 cases in Maribyrnong
  • 2 cases in Maroondah
  • 9 cases in Melbourne
  • 26 cases in Melton
  • 4 cases in Mitchell
  • 13 cases in Moonee Valley
  • 66 cases in Moreland
  • 2 cases in Nillumbik
  • 5 cases in Port Phillip
  • 3 cases in Stonnington
  • 2 cases in Whitehorse
  • 42 cases in Whittlesea
  • 31 cases in Wyndham
  • 7 cases in Yarra.

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

Around 62 per cent of cases identified in Victoria yesterday are in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

Around 85 per cent of all active cases in Victoria are people under 50 years of age, while almost one quarter of cases are people in their 20s.

Of the COVID-19 patients in hospital yesterday, 87 per cent are not vaccinated and 12 per cent are partially vaccinated. Only one person is fully vaccinated.

There are currently more than 18,530 active primary close contacts in isolation in Victoria.

At midday today, there were more than 860 published exposure sites in Victoria.

For more information on each exposure site, including dates and times of exposure, please visit Case alerts - public exposure sites.

The Department regularly manages exposure sites that it doesn’t publish online, particularly if these sites represent lower-risk exposure, or if they have comprehensive record-keeping and contact-tracing measures, or if they identify small, private locations – including smaller apartment or townhouse complexes.

Update: Wastewater testing

COVID-19 has been detected in wastewater samples taken from the following regional areas:

  • Wangaratta and surrounds – including Wangaratta, East Wangaratta, North Wangaratta, Wangaratta South, Laceby, Milawa, Oxley, Waldara and Wangandary. The period of interest is 12 to 14 September.
  • Moe area – including Moe, Newborough, Trafalgar, Yallourn and Yarragon. The period of interest is 13 to 14 September.
  • Ballarat East – repeated unexpected detections in suburbs including Ballarat East, Ballarat North, Bakery Hill, Black Hill, Brown Hill, Buninyong, Canadian, Eureka, Golden Point, Mt Clear, Mt Helen, Invermay Park, Wendouree, Lake Wendouree and Warrenheip. The period of interest is 12 to 15 September.

The detections could be the result of one or more people in these areas who have recovered from COVID-19 but are still shedding the virus, or the detections could be an undiscovered new case.

Anyone who lives in, works in or has visited the areas above is urged to watch for the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms and get tested as soon as possible if symptoms develop.

For more information on wastewater testing, visit Wastewater testing.

Testing

61,961 COVID-19 tests were processed yesterday.

Ballarat Health Services has opened three new testing sites to meet anticipated community demand. The sites are located at the following locations:

  • Ballarat Aquatic & Lifestyle Centre (walk-in, 10 am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Sunday)
  • The Ballarat Sports Events Centre (drive-through, 8 am to 8 pm, Monday to Sunday)
  • Victoria Park (drive-through, 8 am to 8 pm, Monday to Sunday).

For a full list of COVID-19 testing sites in Ballarat, visit Ballarat Health Services website

Barwon Health has increased testing capacity at sites throughout the Barwon and South West region, with the Geelong Showgrounds testing clinic operating from 8 am to 8 pm.

A new drive-through testing clinic will also open at the Spring Creek Reserve in Torquay on Friday, operating from 9 am to 6 pm.

Getting tested as soon as you have symptoms will help health authorities identify new positive cases and provide proper care for your family.

If you are concerned about losing money from missing work, support is available – including the $450 test isolation payment. For more information, go to Financial support.

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

Update: Advice for household contacts of a primary close contact

Information is available online for people who are household contacts of a primary close contact.

View more at What to do if you’re a household contact of a close contact.

General advice

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath and loss or change in sense of smell or taste. If you are experiencing symptoms, wear a fitted face mask when you get tested. 

The Department publishes expected wait times at testing sites as well as updated information about locations and hours of operation at Where to get tested.

For more information call the 24-hour Coronavirus Hotline at 1800 675 398 or visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria.

Current advice to clinicians

Notifications to the department of a confirmed diagnosis of 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 COVID-19** AND who are from the following cohorts: close contacts of a confirmed case of 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 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'.

Clinical information

Online resources

Mental health resources

  • Many Victorians are feeling fatigued, isolated or lonely. If you need 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 helpline (1300 375 330) is able to provide phone support to any Victorian who has been impacted by COVID-19 aged 16 and up, including from people who identify as LGBTIQA+, multicultural, Veterans, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people and international students. This free and confidential service also provides specialist support for small businesses which includes business advisory and financial counselling.

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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