Shepparton News

COVID-19 update

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I hope we have come through the worst of Shepparton’s COVID-19 outbreak. Our community has once again shown its caring and generous nature.

The number of volunteers helping deliver food, medicine, and essential supplies to our isolating families has been staggering. Our hospitalit­y business owners, who are struggling themselves with ongoing restrictio­ns, came out to donate and deliver food to those in need. While we may see some restrictio­ns easing in the coming weeks, there continues to be much pain and suffering for families battling the virus at home and in hospital. Some of our community members are seriously ill with the virus and have been transporte­d to Melbourne hospitals for treatment.

This serves as a stark reminder of how serious this virus is and why everyone should get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones. Speaking to senior government health officials this week, I believe there are thousands of Pfizer appointmen­ts in Shepparton ready to be taken up in the coming weeks – and of course you can walk in to the McIntosh Centre in Shepparton for an AstraZenec­a jab. Victorians at the New South Wales border and those further north in Queensland are growing more concerned about their path home, especially now as the border bubble has reduced to exclude Shepparton, Benalla, Bendigo, Benalla, Buloke, Loddon, Yarriambia­ck and two New South Wales local government areas, Broken Hill and Edward River. Health Minister Martin Foley said he would work on ensuring our Victorians would be safely returned and I will be following up on this. We also have disruption to many workers and people who need to cross the border for a variety of legitimate reasons. We are working though whether some of our constituen­ts can obtain exemptions.

The way forward now is to get our vaccinatio­n rate firstly to 70 per cent then 80 per cent, at which point we are told there will be an easing of restrictio­ns if the numbers can be kept at a level where the health system can cope with the seriously ill.

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