In a positive sign about the trajectory of Victoria’s outbreak, about half of the 90 mystery cases recorded this month have been linked to existing cases, giving health authorities a level of confidence the outbreak was controllable.
Victoria’s COVID-19 response commander, Jeroen Weimar, said authorities had “good fidelity and control” over the majority of the outbreak. However, he said he was concerned about transmission around Altona and Wyndham, as well as the CBD and Fitzroy North. Fears of undetected spread in the St Kilda region have dissipated in recent days.
Dylan Attana, 17, took a quick break from his year 12 studies to toast the widened eligibility. By Tuesday afternoon, he and multiple friends were already talking about booking appointments.
“As soon as possible. It’s a serious priority,” said the student from Greenvale, in Melbourne’s north.
“If we want to move on, forget about the past 18 months and enjoy the next step, I definitely urge people to get Pfizer.”
Over the next year, Mr Attana said he wanted to enjoy many of the things that were taken for granted before the pandemic: he hopes to finish high school (in the classroom, not at home), host his 18th birthday party, enjoy schoolies with his friends and travel to Europe.
“I have some family friends in Greece who I obviously haven’t seen for a while. I’d love to go to Italy, France. And to see my team Manchester United play at Old Trafford,” he said.
Mr Attana said after months of waiting this year, Tuesday’s sudden announcement gave him a pleasant surprise.
Dr Nathan Pinskier, who runs Medi7’s group of GP clinics, said there had been 10 cancellations across his sites on Tuesday afternoon.
“We won’t know the full impact until the weekend with no-shows,” he said. “For people with first dose [appointments], I suspect they will choose to re-evaluate.”
Victoria recorded 50 new local cases on Tuesday
- Seven cases are linked to the Shepparton cluster, which has now been genomically linked to the Glenroy cluster
- Six cases are linked to the MyCentre Child Care in Broadmeadows
- Twelve are linked to the Newport, Altona North and Wyndham cluster
- Six are day-13 tests around the original Hobsons Bay cluster, including Al-Taqwa College
- Four are linked to the Royal Melbourne Hospital
- Two are existing primary close contacts associated with the Royal Children’s Hospital
- Three are known household contacts of previous cases
- Ten were previously unlinked but have now been clarified (four are linked to the Altona North, Wyndham and Newport area, three are linked to the Carlton and Fitzroy North area, two are linked to Thomastown and one is linked to Southbank)
SOURCE: COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar
Dr Wilcox said there had been a huge uptake of young people asking for AstraZeneca in the past month.
“It’s like the punk vaccine; it’s what all the cool kids are getting,” he said. “There’s confused messaging to people which is a shame because they are very motivated to get vaccinated.”
Of Tuesday’s cases, seven were linked to the Shepparton cluster (which has been genomically connected to the cluster in Glenroy); six were associated with the Broadmeadows childcare centre; 12 were grouped with the Newport, Altona North and Wyndham outbreaks; six were attributed to Al Taqwa College; four were from the Royal Melbourne Hospital; two were close contacts linked to the Royal Children’s Hospital; and three were household contacts of previous cases.
Health officials in Geelong confirmed six cases of COVID-19 in a single household in a town just north of the city.
The Royal Melbourne Hospital was placed into ambulance bypass on Tuesday, after about 450 staff were furloughed following a positive case in a surgical patient. The bypass means paramedics were advised to go to a different hospital unless their patient needed care for a serious trauma incident or other urgent care.
An emergency department worker at a Western Health hospital also tested positive to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Victoria Police has now issued 56 fines worth $5452 fines to people who attended an illegal engagement party in Caulfield North.
The number of infected children in Victoria continues to grow. More than 110 of the state’s 522 active COVID-19 cases are under the age of 10; and 101 are between the ages of 10 and 19.
Mr Andrews saidit would be “incredibly difficult” to keep cases near zero in the medium to long-term given the scale of the outbreak in NSW.
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