OUR COVID PAIN IS NOT OVER YET
AS SHEPPARTON HAS NINE NEW CASES, HEALTH AUTHORITIES SAY VIRUS IS CONTAINED BUT NOT UNDER CONTROL
As the Shepparton COVID-19 outbreak enters the 11th day health authorities are confident it is contained, although not under control, despite nine more cases being added yesterday and more already confirmed to be announced today.
The number of active cases reached 94, spread across 37 households.
There was some relief for families connected to the Mooroopna and Invergordon campuses of Greater Shepparton Secondary College and the Emmaus campus of Notre Dame College.
All were downgraded to Tier 2 sites, meaning families with no other exposure to a Tier 1 site could be released from mandatory 14-day quarantine after returning a negative COVID-19 test.
Victorian COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar said the reclassification of those sites would free about 1000 people.
Another 1300 tests were conducted in Shepparton on Saturday, bringing the total to about 23,000 since the beginning of the Shepparton outbreak.
Premier Daniel Andrews said Victoria’s stage 4 lockdown, originally set to end on September 2, would be extended because case numbers were still too high to open up.
‘‘It’s bloody tough, it’s bloody tough for everyone,’’ Mr Andrews said.
‘‘It’s incredibly difficult, but if you look at what’s happening in Sydney, you could let this off, you could make decisions that were not backed up by health advice and we would not have 90 cases today, 93 cases today, we would have thousands of cases, and we know what happens then.’’
Fears over the spread of COVID19 to an aged-care facility in Echuca have eased with Mr Weimar revealing 200 Wharparilla Lodge residents and staff had all returned negative results.
‘‘It looks like we have that under good control,’’ he said.
Wastewater testing around the site has also produced negative results.
Mr Weimar said the Shepparton outbreak was under some control, but he also acknowledged the enormous sacrifice the community had had to make.
‘‘We are trying to get this thing down and under control, Shepparton, in the space of six or seven days, has come under control, but at a huge cost to the Shepparton community in doing so.’’
A huge emergency relief effort continues to get basic supplies to about 16,000 people still isolating in Shepparton.