TAKING TINY STEPS
VICTORIAN HEALTH AUTHORITIES PREPARING ADVICE ON POSSIBLE ‘MODEST CHANGES’ TO RESTRICTIONS
Shepparton almost certainly won’t be part of any easing in restrictions foreshadowed by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, with thousands of people in quarantine not due to have their day 13 tests until later this week.
Mr Andrews said health authorities were preparing advice on possible easing of restrictions based on thresholds of zero or low numbers of COVID-19 cases.
Residents in parts of regional Victoria with no cases have been appealing to the Victorian Government for an easing of restrictions which are hurting local economies.
‘‘These announcements will be made tomorrow (Wednesday), no decision has been made about what will or will not be on that list,’’ Mr Andrews said.
‘‘This will not be freedom day, it will be modest changes that have a positive impact on people’s lives.’’
The Shepparton outbreak rose to 112 cases yesterday, but, importantly, all of the nine new cases were in quarantine and not in the community while infectious.
Mr Andrews reassured the Goulburn Valley community that everything possible was being done to expedite mandatory day 13 testing of thousands of people before they could be released from quarantine.
‘‘I would just say to the people of the Goulburn Valley, there’s a lot of you that will need a day 13 test, so it is going to take a bit of time to work that through,’’ he said.
THIS WILL NOT BE FREEDOM DAY, IT WILL BE MODEST CHANGES THAT HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON PEOPLE’S LIVES. — DANIEL ANDREWS
Mr Andrews said while those caught up in the Shepparton cluster still had a way to go, parts of regional Victoria with no virus present would be part of the discussion about easing restrictions.
‘‘The Shepparton community has done a great job, all of country Victoria is hurting though, this is really tough, but getting around the Shepparton outbreak as we have and looking at wastewater across the board, there’s not a lot of virus out there that we don’t know about,’’ he said.
‘‘So, I think we will have options to do more, go further, and maybe faster in regional Victoria.’’
Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton provided an update on the potential spread of the virus at an aged care home in Echuca, confirming that day nine testing of staff and residents had all returned negative.