COVID-19 Chief Health Officer update

17/08/2021

What's new?

  • Victoria recorded 25 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 yesterday.
  • 24 were locally acquired cases – one was detected in an international traveller in hotel quarantine.
  • There are 227 active cases in Victoria – 225 locally acquired and two overseas acquired cases.
  • There are 12 COVID-19 cases in hospital in Victoria. Two cases are in intensive care.
  • The total number of confirmed cases in Victoria since the beginning of the pandemic is 21,191.
  • The Department of Health website has full details in the interactive daily report.

Update: Extended lockdown

Strengthened extensions are in effect from 11:59pm Tuesday 16 August.

To see more information, visit COVIDSafe Settings.

Update: Outbreaks

Of the 24 new locally acquired cases, 14 cases were quarantine throughout their infectious period.

Of the locally-acquired cases:

  • Three cases are linked to Al-Taqwa College – all household contacts. All were quarantining.
  • Nine cases are linked to Glenroy West Primary – one student and eight household contacts. All were quarantining.
  • Four cases are linked to the St Kilda East Community Outbreak – three are social contacts from a private event, and one case is a contact who was providing care.
  • Two cases are linked to the housing tower at 480 Lygon St Carlton – one is a resident of the level that is currently a Tier 1 exposure site, and one case is a contact who was providing care.
  • Three cases are linked to the Newport Community Outbreak – two are household contacts, who were quarantining, and one is a social contact.

Three cases are not currently linked to known outbreaks:

  • One case is a St Kilda resident without clear links to other cases.
  • Two further cases are linked to each other – both social contacts – one who lives in St Kilda and one who lives in the City of Melbourne.

There are currently more than 14,400 active primary close contacts in isolation in Victoria.

Authorised officers, supported by the Australian Defence Force, continue to visit homes across Victoria to ensure that people are isolating correctly and are well supported. 1203 household visits were conducted yesterday. Officers are seeing a strong level of compliance.

There are more than 540 exposure sites in Victoria and that number continues to grow.

Please check the website for all exposure sites and the dates and times of exposure at Case alerts - public exposure sites.

Update: COVID-19 wastewater detections in regional Victoria

The Department is continuing to identify unexpected detections of COVID-19 fragments in wastewater in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. Current concerns:

Regional catchments

  • Shepparton – detections 10-11 Aug and 13 August (period of interest 9-13 August)
  • Lakes Entrance – one detection 9-11 August (period of interest 8-11 August)

Metro catchments – residential

  • Truganina and Williams Landing – detections since 9 August and continuing (period of interest 18-16 August)
  • Truganina and Tarneit – detections on 9-11 August and again on 16 August (period of interest 8-16 August)
  • Ardeer – detections on 12 Aug and 12-16 August (period of interest 11-16 August)

Metro catchments – industrial

  • Sunshine West – strong detections between 9-16 August (period of interest 8-16 August). The Department is working with local businesses to support with testing.

The wastewater testing program provides an early warning system at a population level and a cautious approach is always taken when these detections are found.

In the past week wastewater testing has provided an early warning in three different metropolitan locations prompting additional individual testing and identification of cases.

More information is available at Wastewater testing page.

Update: Vaccinations

  • 25,742 vaccine doses were administered by Victoria’s state-commissioned services yesterday.
  • The total number of doses administered through these services is 1,994,916.
  • More and more appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine are opening up. For more information, see More and more Victorians pick a reason to get vaccinated.
  • Victorians aged between 18 and 39 can attend a state-run vaccination centre to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine should they provide informed consent.
  • Anyone who is eligible to be vaccinated is strongly encouraged to make a booking.
  • Victoria's online booking system is now live at Book your vaccine appointment or you can ring the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
  • Information about Victoria’s vaccination centres can be found at Vaccination centres.

Update: Testing

  • A total of 31,519 tests were processed in Victoria yesterday.
  • See new and extended testing sites, where to get tested and expected wait times at Where to get tested.

Update: Advice for household contacts of a primary close contact

Information is available online for people who are household contacts of a primary close contact.

View more at What to do if you’re a household contact of a close contact.

General advice

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath and loss or change in sense of smell or taste. If you are experiencing symptoms, wear a fitted face mask when you get tested. 

The Department publishes expected wait times at testing sites as well as updated information about locations and hours of operation at Where to get tested.

For more information call the 24-hour Coronavirus Hotline at 1800 675 398 or visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria.

Current advice to clinicians

Notifications to the department of a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 can be done online. You can submit an online form to our public health team, rather than calling us, saving you time and resolving your case load more efficiently.

COVID-19 testing criteria

Practitioners should test any patients who meet the clinical criteria below:

  • Fever OR chills in the absence of an alternative diagnosis that explains the clinical presentation* OR
  • Acute respiratory infection (e.g., cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, or loss or changes in sense of smell or taste)
  • Note: testing is also recommended for people with new onset of other clinical symptoms consistent with COVID-19** AND who are from the following cohorts: close contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19; those who have returned from overseas in the past 14 days; or those who are healthcare or aged care workers. Testing is recommended for those cohorts with onset of other clinical symptoms**. Asymptomatic testing is not recommended at this stage except for targeted programs.
  • *Clinical discretion applies including consideration of the potential for co-infection (e.g., concurrent infection with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza)
  • **headache, myalgia, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea.

If a symptomatic patient that presents for testing, confirms exposure to a known COVID-19 case within the past 14 days, and the outbreak definition is met, the test sample is to be treated as an ‘outbreak sample'.

Clinical information

Online resources

Mental health resources

  • Many Victorians are feeling fatigued, isolated or lonely. If you need support for your mental health there are mental health resources you can access on our website.
  • If Victorians are not safe at home, they can seek help and support at an Orange Door or other family violence support service. If you or someone you know is at risk or experiencing family violence, call 000 in an emergency or Safe Steps 24/7 crisis service on 1800 015 188.
  • The Partners in Wellbeing helpline (1300 375 330) is able to provide phone support to any Victorian who has been impacted by COVID-19 aged 16 and up, including from people who identify as LGBTIQA+, multicultural, Veterans, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people and international students. This free and confidential service also provides specialist support for small businesses which includes business advisory and financial counselling.

Consumer information

Contacts

Medical practitioners needing clinical information or to notify confirmed cases can contact the Department of Health Communicable Diseases Section on 1300 651 160 (24 hours).

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