Coronavirus update for Victoria – Saturday 31 July 2021

Victoria was notified of two new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. Both were locally acquired cases.

There are 180 active cases in Victoria – 172 locally acquired and 8 overseas acquired cases.

There are seven COVID-19 cases in hospital in Victoria. Two cases are in intensive care (including one case on a ventilator).

The total number of confirmed cases in Victoria since the beginning of the pandemic is 20,944.

Pfizer vaccine dosage intervals

State-run vaccination centres will now administer the second dose of Pfizer vaccine at least six weeks after the first dose from Monday 2 August. There is no change to the AstraZeneca interval advice.

This allows more Victorians to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks. More first dose bookings will become available in the system in three to four weeks as a result of this change. If you’ve got a second dose for Pfizer booked, there’s no change. Attend your appointment as planned and get fully vaccinated.

The change is consistent with ATAGI guidelines. The guidelines recommend that the second dose of Pfizer should be administered between 3 and 6 weeks after the first dose to achieve optimal protection against COVID-19. ATAGI has also advised that dosing intervals can be safely adjusted according to epidemiological conditions and other factors. Other countries are safely and effectively using longer Pfizer intervals (including the UK and Canada) to allow more people to get a first dose sooner.

Commonwealth vaccination providers – such as GPs and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations – will continue to provide second doses at an interval of three weeks.

Update: Outbreaks

There were two locally acquired cases yesterday. Both cases are linked to the current outbreak.

One case is a second traffic controller at the Moonee Valley testing site who shared a car home with the first traffic controller who tested positive.

All other staff at the Moonee Valley Racecourse testing site have returned negative test results and remain in quarantine for 14 days. Investigations into how the first traffic controller contracted the virus are continuing.

The second new case is a personal close contact of the first traffic controller. This new case was moved to hotel quarantine before developing symptoms and testing positive.

Two additional exposure sites have been generated as a result of these new cases. The Woolworths supermarket at the Devon Plaza Shopping Centre in Doncaster is listed as a Tier one exposure site and anyone who was there on Wednesday 28 July, between 10.20am and 11.25am, must isolate immediately for 14 days and get tested. Body Fit Training in Altona South is listed as a Tier two exposure site and anyone who was there on Wednesday 28 July, between 5:20am and 7:00am, must get tested urgently and isolate until receiving a negative result.

There are currently 6654 Victorians isolating as primary close contacts, down from a peak of 23,000. More than 1900 primary close contacts were cleared yesterday. Public health officials continue to clear primary close contacts as they end their period of isolation.

A full list of current exposure sites can be seen at Case alerts -public exposure sites.

The Department regularly manages exposure sites that it doesn’t publish online, particularly if these sites represent lower-risk exposures, or if they have comprehensive record-keeping and contact tracing measures, or if they identify small, private locations.

We continue to ask every Victorian to check exposure sites regularly, as they are subject to change based on follow-up interviews and further investigation.

Update: Permit zone changes

With parts of South-East Queensland entering lockdown, the Chief Health Officer has declared the following Queensland local government areas (LGAs) a red zone (other than for transit) under Victoria’s travel permit system from 8:00pm AEST Saturday 31 July.

  • City of Brisbane, Moreton Bay Regional Council, City of Gold Coast, City of Ipswich, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Logan City, Noosa Shire Council, Redland City, Scenic Rim Regional Council, Somerset Regional Council and Sunshine Coast Regional Council.

If you enter Victoria before the impacted LGA becomes a red zone on 8:00pm AEST Saturday 31 July, you need an appropriate permit (or an exception, exemption or other valid permit). Orange zone permit holders need to isolate on arrival, get tested within 72 hours and stay isolated until they receive a negative result.

If you are a Victorian resident and have been in a red zone since current red zones came into effect, other than for transit, you can obtain a red zone permit to enter Victoria but you must travel directly home, get tested and quarantine for 14 days.

If you are a non-Victorian resident and you have been in a red zone since current red zones came into effect, other than for transit, you cannot obtain a permit and you cannot enter Victoria unless you have an exception or exemption.

Effective from 11.59pm Friday 30 July, South Australia and Norfolk Island are orange zones under Victoria’s travel permit system. People travelling from these areas into Victoria need to apply for an orange zone permit. Orange zone permit holders entering Victoria must isolate on arrival, get tested within 72 hours, and stay isolated until they get a negative result.

Existing red zone arrivals to Victoria from South Australia and Norfolk Island who have had a test since arriving in Victoria and received a negative result are released from quarantine.

Permit checks are in place at borders and for relevant arriving flights at Victorian airports.

You must have a valid permit, exception or exemption to enter Victoria, even if entering from a green zone.

Permits can be obtained at Service Victoria.

See more at Victorian travel permit system.

Update: Current restrictions

Restrictions were eased at 11.59pm on Tuesday 27 July. For more information on the latest COVIDSafe settings, visit COVIDSafe Settings.

Update: New COVID-19 wastewater detections

There have been new wastewater detections in the east and west of Melbourne. They may be due to someone who has had COVID-19, is no longer infectious and is continuing to shed the virus – or it may be due to an active but undiagnosed case in that area.

COVID-19 fragments have been detected in wastewater in the Caroline Springs area. Suburbs in the catchment include Albanvale, Burnside, Burnside Heights, Caroline Springs, Deer Park, Delahey, Hillside (Melton), Keilor Downs, Kings Park, Plumpton, Sydenham, Taylors Hill and Taylors Lakes.

Anyone who lives, works or has visited the above suburbs between 26-28 July is urged to watch for the slightest of COVID-19 symptoms and get tested as soon as possible if any symptoms develop.

There have also been follow-up positive detections of COVID-19 fragments in the Camberwell area. Suburbs in the catchment include Balwyn, Camberwell, Canterbury, Mont Albert and Surrey Hills.

Anyone who lives, works or has visited the above surrounding suburbs between 26-29 July is urged to get tested should they get even the slightest of COVID-19 symptoms.

The wastewater testing program is designed as an early warning system and a cautious approach is always taken when these detections are found.

Recent wastewater detections at Docklands and at Phillip Island have provided early warning of positive cases in those areas that were detected in the past week.

The Department of Health has increased wastewater testing in the areas listed above and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

More information is available at Wastewater testing.

Update: Vaccinations

Yesterday, 19,502 vaccine doses were administered by Victoria’s state-commissioned services.

The total number of doses administered through these services is 1,630,960.

Every week, more appointments are being opened up at state clinics across Victoria and people who are eligible to be vaccinated are encouraged to plan ahead and book as soon as they can.

There are now 50 open access vaccination centres operating across Victoria and in the coming weeks and months there will be more pop-up community vaccination clinics in operation.

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

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