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.

17/5/2021

What’s new?

  • Victoria has recorded one new case of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.
  • The total number of COVID-19 cases reported in Victoria is now 20,545. 
  • There were no new deaths and the state’s death toll stands at 820.  
  • Victoria has 23 active cases. 
  • A total of 6,078,808 test results have been received. This is an increase of 13,585 since yesterday.
  • You can find further details in today’s COVID-19 media release.
  • The Department of Health website has full details in the interactive daily report.

Update: Wollert COVID-19 case 

Public health teams continue to manage the the contacts of the COVID-19 case in Victoria that was acquired interstate.

Genomic sequencing results support the hypothesis that this case acquired COVID-19 in an interstate hotel quarantine facility.

The positive case has been interviewed by Victorian public health officials and exposure sites in Melbourne, Epping and Altona North, plus a number of train stations and train services, are published at Case alerts - public exposure sites

All three of the individual’s household primary close contacts have been tested, have returned negative results and remain in isolation. In addition: 

  • 42 patrons and staff who attended the Curry Vault CBD exposure site have been identified as Primary Close Contacts.
  • 15 people who attended the Pact Altona North exposure site have been identified as Primary Close Contacts.
  • 22 people who attended the Indiagate Epping exposure site have been identified as Primary Close Contacts.
  • 39 people who attended the Woolworths Epping exposure site have been identified as Primary Close Contacts.
  • All primary close contacts have been tested and returned negative results.

While these locations represent the department’s highest priority exposure sites, work continues on other sites which require people who attended to get tested and stay isolated until they return a negative result.

On Friday 14 May Victorian public health authorities have re-classified the Woolworths Epping exposure site as a Tier 2 site, requiring contacts to isolate until they receive a negative result.

This decision was made following a detailed assessment of the transmission risks of this site.

All 60 primary close contacts linked to the site have returned negative results and will be released from their quarantine.

Today, Victorian public health authorities have re-classified the Indiagate Spices and Grocery Epping as a Tier 2 site, requiring contacts to isolate until they receive a negative result.

This decision was made following a detailed assessment of the transmission risks of this site.

All 30 primary close contacts linked to the site have returned negative results and will be released from their quarantine.

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.

Update: Playford Hotel 

Six people now in Victoria have been identified as having recently left Level 3 of the Playford Hotel in Adelaide during the potential transmission period of positive COVID-19 cases undertaking South Australian hotel quarantine. 

All six have been contacted and are now undertaking 14 days quarantine since their departure from the Adelaide hotel.

All six have returned negative test results. 

Update: Vaccinations

A total of 2,004 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 313,539.

Victorians aged 50 and over are now eligible to receive their vaccination at one of Victoria’s vaccination centres.

A full list of opening hours and wait times at Victoria’s vaccination centres can be seen at Vaccination centres. Appointments can be made by calling 1800 675 398

More open-access vaccination centres are opening across Victoria

Metro

  • Melbourne Showgrounds, managed by Western Health, opened today.

Regional

  • The vaccination centre in Warrnambool (located at 184 Merri Street) is open to the eligible public for walk-ins and Coronavirus Hotline bookings. Locals can make a booking from Tuesday 11 May by calling 1800 675 398
  • The centre is administered by South West Healthcare in partnership with Barwon Health.
  • Open-access vaccination centres at Cobram, Kilmore and Mansfield are also open to eligible public (for phone bookings only).

Vaccine eligibility update

From Monday 17 May, Victorians aged under 50 in a number of priority groups will be able to receive the Pfizer vaccine at more vaccination centres across Victoria, including:

  • critical and high-risk workers – such as emergency services workers, Australian Defence Force personnel and licenced meat and seafood processing workers
  • adults with specified underlying health conditions, or severe mental health conditions
  • disability services workers and carers of people with a disability, both paid and unpaid
  • paid and unpaid carers of people who are over 70, or who have specified underlying medical conditions
  • public-facing transport workers, including public transport, taxi and rideshare drivers (from 24 May).

This is in addition to many more healthcare and aged care workers, hotel quarantine and border workers and others who are already eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine if they are under 50.

People who are under 50 years old eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine currently must make a booking. Bookings can be made by calling 1800 675 398. 

Open-access vaccination centres continue to offer AstraZeneca to all Victorians aged over 50, including through walk-in appointments where available.

Victoria is working closely with the Australian Government who are leading the roll-out to provide more options for the administration of vaccines to people living with a disability. The Australian Government have advised they will retain responsibility for in-reach services within residential disability care homes.

Update: NSW

All areas in New South Wales remain as green zones under Victoria’s travel permit system.

NSW Health publishes a list of exposure sites at the NSW Health COVID case locations website.

Update: Queensland

All areas in Queensland remain as green zones under Victoria’s travel permit system. 

Queensland Health publishes a list of exposure sites at the QLD Health COVID case locations website.

If you are currently in Victoria and have been to a Tier 1 exposure site, you must immediately contact the Victorian Department of Health on 1300 651 160 and quarantine for 14 days.

Other Queensland public exposure sites, as listed on the Queensland Government website, are considered Tier 2 exposure sites. Anyone who has visited a Tier 2 exposure site during the times listed should contact the Victorian Department of Health on 1300 651 160, get a test and isolate until they receive a negative result.

Update: Western Australia

All areas in Western Australia remain as green zones under Victoria’s travel permit system.

Western Australia Health has published a list of exposure sites at WA Health COVID case locations website.

Victoria has declared all exposure sites since 27 April as Tier 1 exposure sites. If you are currently in Victoria and have been to a Tier 1 exposure site, you must immediately contact the Victorian Department of Health on 1300 651 160 and quarantine for 14 days.

Update: Testing sites and expanded testing

Victorian testing numbers pass six million

Last week the six millionth COVID-19 test result was processed in Victoria since January 2020.

Testing hours and capacity have been expanded at more than 20 major locations.

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.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 – such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, chills or sweats, or change in sense of smell or taste – get a test immediately. 

We thank all the laboratory staff for their hard work in maintaining a world class testing system for Victorians.

Travel permit zones 

All of Australia and New Zealand are green zones. 

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 and for travel updates for both travellers to Victoria and residents of Victoria returning home from interstate or New Zealand.

The Victorian Chief Health Officer will continue monitoring the situation and will provide further updates as needed.

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’. 

Victoria’s restriction levels 

The State of Emergency has been extended until 11:59pm on 4 June 2021 to allow the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s directions to remain in force. 

Clinical information  

On Monday 12 April, the Victorian Department of Health announced actions in response to the advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). This statement can be seen  in the media release on Monday 12 April

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 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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