Australia

Victoria records 514 new local COVID-19 cases as Ballarat re-enters lockdown

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton’s public-health team met senior ministers on Wednesday night to discuss potential changes, expected to be announced on Thursday.

The modest changes being considered included extending restrictions on movement from five to 10 kilometres from home, an increase to the two-hour time limit on exercise and reopening outdoor gyms and skate parks.

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Mr Andrews said he was considering “social interaction” – in other words, small outdoor gatherings – as well.

The Premier also said he may wait until Sunday to implement some changes when he plans to reveal the state’s long-term road map out of lockdown.

Professor Sutton said on Wednesday – before more than 500 new cases were announced – that Melbourne’s case numbers seemed to have stabilised in the past few days, but the “risk of it getting to 1000 [per day] is real”.

The figures come as Ballarat began the first day of a week-long snap lockdown on Thursday after the city of about 100,000 recorded four cases and wastewater detection, with more expected in coming days.

Premier Daniel Andrews, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton and COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar on Wednesday.Credit: Eddie Jim

Exposure sites list grows to include Alfred’s emergency centre

The Alfred’s emergency and trauma centre was listed as a tier 1 exposure site overnight, as was a construction site and an early learning centre attached to a junior school in Ballarat.

A construction site in Cerberus Lane in Canadian, a suburb of Ballarat, was listed as a tier one exposure site on Wednesday night, after a case attended the worksite on September 10 from 6.50am to 5.30pm.

Clarendon College’s Early Learning Centre is also a tier 1 exposure site on September 10, from 8.15am to 9am.

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But The Ballarat Courier is reporting anyone who attended the Mair Street campus, including the junior school, at any time last Friday is now subject to a 48-hour “stop and stay” directive, meaning they must go home immediately and get tested after a child tested positive.

“Given the speed with which the Delta variant is moving from person to person, anyone associated with the school, and their household, is asked to quarantine for 48 hours in the first instance,” Grampians Public Health clinical director Dr Karen Aarons wrote to parents.

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