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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15/10/2021

What’s new

Victoria was notified of 2,179 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. All were locally acquired cases.

There are 21,324 active cases in Victoria.

Sadly, the Department was notified of six deaths yesterday:

  • Three men aged in their 80s from Brimbank, Boroondara and Darebin
  • Two women aged in their 80s from Hume and Moreland
  • One woman aged in her 50s from Moonee Valley

The total number of confirmed cases in Victoria since the beginning of the pandemic is 61,869.

Update: Restrictions extended in Mildura

Due to increasing case numbers and the complexity of the current outbreak, the Chief Health Officer has determined the lockdown in Mildura will be extended for seven days.

There were an additional 34 cases in Mildura yesterday, which was higher than any other regional area in Victoria, bringing the total number of active cases in that area to 188.

While the first dose vaccination rate for Mildura is now more than 90 per cent, the second dose rate is behind the state average at 58 per cent.

Restrictions in the Rural City of Mildura are the same as those in metropolitan Melbourne (excluding the curfew).

Lockdown has ended in Mitchell Shire. For more information visit Lockdown restrictions in Mitchell Shire to lift tonight - 13 October 2021.

For information on current restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne, visit How we live: metropolitan Melbourne and Mildura Rural City Council.

Overhaul of the travel permit system

Changes to Victoria's travel permit system announced today will allow fully vaccinated people travelling from NSW to enter Victoria without facing 14-days quarantine, effective from 11:59pm on 19 October.

More information can be found at Permit overhaul to make safe border changes.

Change in travel permit zone for the ACT

The Acting Chief Health Officer has declared that from 11:59pm last night, Thursday 14 October, the ACT has moved from a Red Zone to an Orange Zone.

Anyone who has been in the ACT who travels to Victoria is no longer required to quarantine for 14 days. They will need to test within 72 hours after arriving in Victoria and isolate until they receive a negative test result.

This change aligns with the lifting of lockdown in the ACT from 11:59pm last night.

Vaccination status of yesterday's cases

Of the 2,197 COVID-19 cases reported yesterday, 67 per cent were unvaccinated, 21 per cent were partially vaccinated and 12 per cent were fully vaccinated.

This data and additional analysis of the vaccination status of Victorian cases over the past week illustrates the importance of getting vaccinated and shows that with the current outbreak, unvaccinated people are 10 times more likely to catch COVID-19.

The data shows that the virus is taking the path of least resistance and is predominantly infecting the unvaccinated.

Even with just one dose of the vaccine you are much more likely to have a milder illness should you get COVID-19. As we will be opening up more in coming weeks when we hit our double dose vaccination targets, the message is clear - vaccination protects you from COVID-19 and you are putting yourself and your loved ones at greater risk of illness or ending up in hospital if you are not vaccinated.

Vaccines

Yesterday, 38,752 vaccine doses were administered by Victoria's state-commissioned services.

The total number of doses administered through state-run services is 4,085,271.

88 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over have now had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 63.1 per cent have had two doses. This excludes most recent Commonwealth data.

Victoria is opening neighbourhood pop-up vaccination centres in suburban streets, shops, gyms and community clubs: Local vax pop-ups coming to streets and shops across city.

The small, targeted pop-ups are designed to vaccinate 20 to 30 people a session. Suburbs in scope for neighbourhood pop-ups are concentrated in Melbourne's mid and outer north, west and south east.

In addition, five new community pop-up vaccination sites will open next week, all offering walk-ups. They are at:

  • East Reservoir Senior Citizens Centre on Strathmerton Street (open Monday and Tuesday)
  • Kingsbury Bowls Club on Dunne Street (open Wednesday and Thursday)
  • Craigieburn Sports Stadium on Craigieburn Road (open Tuesday and Wednesday)
  • EACH Building, Warburton Hwy, Yarra Junction (open Monday to Friday)
  • Fawkner Community Hall on Jukes Road (open Monday to Thursday)

From today and through the weekend, the Department is partnering with the Melbourne Football Club to run a pop-up vaccination site at the second home of the Melbourne Demons at Casey Fields. The site will be offering Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, with both bookings and walk-ups available.

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 Australian Government Department of Health.

Outbreaks

Of the 2,179 locally acquired cases reported yesterday, 1,986 cases were reported in the Local Government Areas in metropolitan Melbourne and 193 cases were reported in regional Victoria.

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

There are currently more than 56,700 active primary close contacts in isolation in Victoria.

At midday today, there were more than 130 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.

There may be occasions when the Department is unable to make contact with a business or residential premises before their listing as an exposure site. At all times, we take the decision of when to publish these sites in the interests of public health.

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.

Wastewater testing

COVID-19 viral fragments have been detected in wastewater samples taken from the following regional areas:

  • Horsham - unexpected detection for the period 10 - 12 October.
  • Mallacoota - unexpected detection for the period 5 - 13 October.
  • Lakes Entrance - repeated unexpected detections for period 6 - 14 October.
  • Bendigo - repeated unexpected detections in areas that include parts of Kangaroo Flat, Maiden Gully, Strathfieldsaye and Junortoun for the period 7 - 13 October.
  • Cobram - repeated unexpected detections for the period 29 September - 12 October.
  • Apollo Bay - repeated unexpected detections for the period 28 September - 8 October.
  • Ballarat - repeated unexpected detections in areas that include parts of Mitchell Park and Wendouree for the period 3 - 7 October.

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

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

73,942 COVID-19 tests were processed in Victoria.

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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