Vic regions to learn COVID lockdown fate

Vic regions to learn COVID lockdown fate

Coronavirus
Greater Geelong and Mitchell Shire remain under review, Health Minister Martin Foley says.

Greater Geelong and Mitchell Shire remain under review, Health Minister Martin Foley says.

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Health Minister Martin Foley has confirmed restrictions will ease on the state's Surf Coast from midnight on Sunday.

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The Victorian city of Geelong will learn its lockdown fate, as rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations threaten a suspend elective surgeries.

Health Minister Martin Foley has confirmed restrictions will ease on the state's Surf Coast from midnight on Sunday, while Greater Geelong and Mitchell Shire remain under review.

All three regions were plunged into lockdown a week ago after positive coronavirus cases emerged.

Mr Foley said the outlook for Greater Geelong is "relatively positive", but Mitchell Shire - which recorded seven new cases on Saturday - is likely to remain locked down.

Victoria recorded 847 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases across the state - its highest daily tally - and another death on Saturday.

Of the 7611 active cases in the state, 321 are in hospital with 65 in intensive care and 45 of them on ventilators.

COVID-19 hospital patients have jumped by 55 per cent over the past week and 124 per cent across the past fortnight.

To boost hospital capacity, Health Minister Martin Foley said the state government was discussing multiple options.

"Elective surgery, particularly non-urgent election surgery, is clearly on the table to pause and to delay," he said.

"As is equally partnering with the private sector to make sure that other urgent work that would be done in the public sector can be done in the private sector."

COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar estimates about 45 per cent of Victorians catching the virus in homes are socially interacting with other households when they shouldn't be.

That pattern has health authorities spooked some would defy stay-at-home orders for Saturday night's AFL decider between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs' headquarters, Whitten Oval, will be transformed into a pop-up vaccination hub next weekend, with 2000 Pfizer jab bookings up for grabs online from Monday.

Meanwhile, police snuffed out a sixth day of anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protests in Melbourne, dispersing and arresting would-be demonstrators in St Kilda on Saturday.

Organisers on an encrypted messaging platform have made vague plans for more protests on Sunday.

Australian Associated Press

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