Australia North East Victoria records numerous new COVID cases
Victoria records 423 new cases as state waits on restrictions lifting
Victoria recorded 423 new cases in the past 24 hours to midnight, with 149 linked to known cases, as the state waits for Premier Daniel Andrews to announce a lifting of some restrictions.Two people were reported to have died with Covid-19. The deaths bring the toll from the current outbreak to eight deaths.
COVID-19 has trickled into North East Victoria with several new cases recorded across the region.
Albury Wodonga Health confirmed there are three positive cases in Wodonga.
One is a close contact of a COVID-positive person from outside the region, the other two cases are close contacts of the first case.
Wilson St Store in Wodonga has been identified as a tier two exposure site on Tuesday September 21 between 4:00pm and 7:00pm.
Woolworths in White Box Rise is also expected to be listed as a tier two exposure site but details have not been updated on the Department of Health's website.
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the cases are "under control".
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The Premier says Victorians will not be asked to show their vaccination status, indicating police will not take a heavy-handed approach to enforcing the new rules. From Saturday, up to five fully vaccinated adults or two non-vaccinated people will be able to meet outdoors after the state reached its 70 per cent first-dose vaccination target.However, the earlier-than-expected loosening of lockdown rules came with tough new restrictions for the construction industry, which will be subject to mandatory vaccinations from September 23 and a ban on workers moving between metropolitan and regional areas.
"The Albury Wodonga area has obviously seen a few cases, but they are known contacts and being managed in quarantine during their infectious period."
New Albury case linked
Across the Murray River, Albury has also recorded one new case of COVID-19 bringing the Local Government Area's total number of active cases to five.
A spokesperson from Murrumbidgee Local Health District said the new case was a household contact of a previously identified case in Albury.
They have been in isolation and it is unlikely there will be any exposure sites as a result.
The additional case comes just days after the town emerged from a seven-day lockdown and was downgraded to a red zone by the Victorian Government.
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Shepparton records new cases
Meanwhile, two people have tested positive to COVID-19 in Greater Shepparton.
Goulburn Valley Health's Chief Executive Matt Sharp says one of the cases has a Shepparton address and the other resides in the Campaspe Shire but is currently in the town.
The new cases are believed to be acquired from a transport driver and is not linked to the previous outbreak.
GV Health understands they were infectious in the community from Wednesday September 15.
Contact tracing is underway and exposure sites are expected to be identified.
A total of three new cases have been recorded in the Campaspe Shire, including the person currently in Shepparton.
Wangaratta figure grows
A second person has tested positive to COVID-19 in Wangaratta, who is a household contact of the previous case that attended Northeast Health Wangaratta's Emergency Department on Monday night.
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Daniel Andrews says that "if for nothing else" people "owe it" to the state's healthcare workers to stop rallying in the streets and get vaccinated instead.Protesters are expected to take to the streets within a matter of hours after Melbourne was brought to a standstill by aggressive activists demanding a vaccine mandate for the construction industry be lifted yesterday.
Northeast Health Wangaratta said the new case had been isolating since Tuesday but it expected a small number of additional exposure sites to be added.
Numerkah Cobram Nathalia Health Chief Executive Jacque Phillips says one new case has been recorded in the Moira Shire but it is under review and the person is being re-tested today.
The Mitchell Shire has also recorded nine new cases of COVID-19.
Mr Sutton said as more people got vaccinated there was less of a need to lockdown regional communities.
"Every day that passes with more and more regional Victorians getting vaccinated is again a great defence against the need for a lockdown," he said.
"The great majority of people who have been close contacts are also vaccinated and have that protect so we'll be more and more confident as time goes by that a few cases in some regional areas will not necessarily require a lockdown."
Warning of 'apocalyptic' conditions in hospitals, border measures eased .
But those planning to cross the border into Victoria must be fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 and have returned a negative coronavirus test 72 hours before they leave NSW. Victorian residents will then have to quarantine in their homes for 14 days.READ MORE: Melbourne supermarkets struggling to run as staff forced into isolationIt comes as cases surge across Victoria, with one paramedic describing the emergency department conditions as "already apocalyptic".Yesterday, Victoria recorded its highest ever daily COVID-19 tally with 950 local cases and a further seven deaths.