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Virus ‘absolutely still out there’ as Victoria records one new COVID-19 case

There are now nine cases connected to the Southbank apartment outbreak.

Facing the media for the first time after he was criticised for travelling to Canberra on Wednesday for two days of meetings and an awards night while Melbourne was still in lockdown, Professor Sutton said he was disappointed it had become the focus of public discussion.

“Maybe if I could have my time again (I would not go) … because of the way that it distracted from really important conversations. We should have been talking about the challenge of the current Delta outbreak in Sydney and our ongoing challenges here in Victoria,” he said.

NSW recorded two new local cases of coronavirus on Saturday.

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Professor Sutton also revealed new first-dose appointments for Pfizer will be opened up in Victoria again next week.

He said 27 per cent of Victorians aged in their 40s had received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 45 per cent of those in their 50s having at least their first jab, and 56 per cent for those over 70.

“The advice is clear, however, if you’ve received your first dose of AstraZeneca without any serious adverse reactions you really must get your second dose at 12 weeks,” he said.

“The reality is that the already very rare risk of clotting disorders from a single dose of AstraZeneca vaccine is even rarer, with a follow up dose.

“If you’ve got concerns, please speak to your GP, please speak to a qualified health practitioner, so you can talk through any and all of those concerns that you might have.”

Two new cases were reported in overseas arrivals now in hotel quarantine. More than 30,800 tests were received and 17,800 vaccine doses were administered by state authorities in the past 24 hours.

There are now 51 active cases case across Victoria, down from 94 active cases less than two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, metropolitan residents have fled the city this weekend, after Victorian restrictions eased to allow travel between the city and the regions for the first time since late May.

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But new rules require visitors to Victoria’s alpine resorts to have evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departing the city to enter the ski fields. Children under 12 are exempt.

Rob Aivatoglou, who runs George’s ski hire in the heart of the Mount Buller village said there was “no doubt that the COVID test has deterred some customers”.

Victoria recorded one new local case on Friday: a primary close contact of an existing case linked to the Southbank townhouse complex.

No new exposure sites were added overnight, as the newly COVID-positive woman lives at the locked-down Kings Park apartments had spent her infectious period in isolation.

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