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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18/06/2021

What’s new?

  • Victoria recorded two new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, one locally acquired case, and one in a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.
  • The total number of COVID-19 cases reported in Victoria is 20,680.
  • There were no new deaths and the state’s death toll stands at 820.
  • Victoria has 54 active cases.
  • A total of 6,998,972 test results have been received. This is an increase of 20,680 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: Outbreaks

The new locally acquired case is the partner of a known positive case linked to the Southbank outbreak. She has been in quarantine since 14 June.

There are no new exposure sites or public health risks identified from this case. Public exposure sites visited by this case were also visited by her partner and have been identified, contact traced and published.

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases linked to the Southbank outbreaks stands at nine. All 22 residents who live in close proximity to the nine positive cases have been tested at least once and returned negative results. They will be asked to test every two days while they undertake 14 days of quarantine.

There are 171 residents identified in the wider Kings Park, Southbank, complex and 137 have returned negative tests. Testing efforts continue with these individuals and they will be asked to test again midway through their quarantine period as part of on-going surveillance.

Victorian public health officials and contact tracers continue to work hard to get on top of the outbreaks across Melbourne.

As of yesterday, there remain just over 1000 active primary close contacts connected to the outbreaks. Over the past week we have reduced the number of primary close contacts from over 4500.

Testing of primary close contacts of the Epping Private Hospital nurse positive case continues with the majority of contacts returning negative results.

At Epping, 34 staff have been furloughed and 24 have returned negative test results. Eleven staff members at the hospital Epping Private have been identified as Tier 1 primary close contacts and are quarantining for 14 days. Other staff can return to work once they have been cleared.

At the Northern Hospital, 67 people have been identified as primary close contacts and 55 have returned negative test results.

At the Northern vaccination clinic, seven staff have returned negative results and around half of the 55 patients have so far tested negative.

The immunisation clinic will not be listed as a public exposure site as all primary close contacts have been contacted. If you attended this clinic on 14 June but have not been contacted by public health officials you are not required to isolate or get tested.

Genomic testing results on the nurse from Epping Private have shown the Kappa variant of COVID-19, the same variant as the Arcare aged care cases which supports the hypothesis that the nurse contracted COVID-19 from the patients she was treating.

More than 90 per cent of all primary close contacts linked to the West Melbourne, City of Whittlesea and Port Melbourne outbreaks have been cleared.

Day 13 testing is underway with primary close contacts linked to the Arcare Maidstone aged care facility outbreak. Subject to these cases returning negative test results, it is hoped the facility can re-open early next week.

The full list of Victorian exposure sites can be seen at Case alerts – public exposure sites.

Update: New South Wales travel permit zone

Last night, the Chief Health Officer, after assessing the public health risks of community transmission within NSW, designated the NSW Local Government Areas of City of Sydney, Waverley and Woollahra as orange zones under Victoria’s travel permit system.

Positive COVID-19 cases in Sydney have been linked to a driver from the NSW hotel quarantine program. The driver was potentially infectious in the Sydney community from 11 June.

A total of 4761 text messages were sent last night to individuals who arrived in Victoria from NSW orange zones between 11 and 16 June.

The text message asks individuals to test and isolate until they receive a negative result and also instructs individuals to review the NSW public exposure site listings.

Victorian public health officials are continuing to work through additional flight manifests to identify recently arrived individuals from NSW.

Anyone arriving into Victoria from City of Sydney, Waverley and Woollahra LGAs must obtain an orange zone permit at Service Victoria, isolate and get tested upon arrival and stay isolated until they receive a negative result.

Anyone who has arrived into Victoria from City of Sydney, Waverley and Woollahra LGAs from 11 June must isolate, get tested, and stay isolated until they receive a negative result. To see where to get tested, visit the Where to get tested page.

Update: Vaccinations

Yesterday 16,710 vaccine doses were administered by Victoria’s state-commissioned services.

This brings the total number of vaccine doses administered at state-commissioned services to 868,512.

Victoria’s online booking system is now live at Book your vaccine appointment.

The online booking system for vaccinations is performing well since going live on Tuesday.

Victoria is now prioritising second dozes of Pfizer vaccine to ensure everyone who received their first dose in the past few weeks completes their two-dose schedule of vaccinations within the recommended timeframe.

New bookings for first does of Pfizer vaccine will open up from next week.

Individuals awaiting their second dose are encouraged to book online today or call the coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398. so they can receive their second dose within the recommended three to six-week window.

Vaccination centres state-wide are currently not accepting walk-ins for Pfizer vaccine except in very limited circumstances so it is essential that individuals make bookings before attending a vaccination centre.

The full list of state-commissioned vaccination centres, their opening times, and walk-in guidance, is available at Vaccination centres.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) released a statement yesterday advising that the Pfizer vaccine is preferred over the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged under 60 years.

We are assessing the implications for the Victorian rollout of the Australian Government's COVID-19 vaccination program, which will need to be worked through.

There is strong demand for eligible Victorians to be vaccinated and protected against COVID-19. More than 1.8 million doses have been administered across state, general practice and Commonwealth programs in Victoria, and we thank everyone who has already come forward to be vaccinated.

In line with ATAGI’s recommendations, any person aged 60 years and over will continue to be offered the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as the preferred vaccine at state vaccination centres.

If you are aged 50-59 years and currently booked to receive you first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine between Thursday 17 June 2021 and Sunday 20 June 2021, you will be offered the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Anyone booked to receive their first dose of AstraZeneca from Monday 21 June in the 50-59 age group may be contacted by the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline 1800 675 398 or their health service to offer them a booking for Pfizer.

If you have received your first dose of the vaccine without serious adverse reaction, you are strongly encouraged to receive the second dose as planned. This is safe and recommended by ATAGI.

Patient consent forms and consumer information sheets are available from the Australian Government Department of Health.

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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