Shepparton News

VACCINATIO­N RATE RISES

BUT AS VIC TALLY HITS 473, BLITZ LAUNCHED TO BOOST JABS, MAKE CONSTRUCTI­ON INDUSTRY COVID-COMPLIANT

- By Darren Linton

Shepparton’s active COVID-19 cases dropped to 42 yesterday with no new cases recorded.

Just as pleasing for Goulburn Valley Health, 64.4 per cent of people in Greater Shepparton have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 36.8 per cent are fully vaccinated.

“This is an encouragin­g improvemen­t over recent weeks, however anyone who has not been vaccinated should book an appointmen­t as soon as possible,” GV Health chief executive officer Matt Sharp said.

Across Victoria, 66.9 per cent of people aged over 16 have now had a first dose and 41 per cent are fully vaccinated.

While vaccinatio­n rates continue to rise, so do case numbers with 473 added yesterday, taking the Victorian total of active cases to 3507.

Health Minister Martin Foley said 13 per cent of those cases could be linked directly to constructi­on sites which has prompted a vaccinatio­n blitz for constructi­on workers as well as a COVID-compliance blitz for the industry.

A further 20,000 priority Pfizer appointmen­ts will be made available to constructi­on workers.

“Ensuring easy access to vaccinatio­ns for this industry will help slow the spread of the virus and prevent further infections in the long run,” Mr Foley said.

Treasurer Tim Pallas said constructi­on had been given exempt status because of its importance to the economy but must operate in a COVID-safe manner.

Fifty teams of inspectors will start work to ensure compliance, with no warnings for those found wanting.

“The majority of the constructi­on industry is doing the right thing but there are examples people have come across where people are not doing the right thing,” he said.

“They have an obligation to go a little bit further given the privilege they have as exempt workers to continue to ply their trade.”

The compliance crackdown and the effort to push up vaccinatio­n rates was welcomed by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“We would like to see this program expanded to customer-facing workforces such as hospitalit­y and retail, as well as childcare and education after the constructi­on blitz,” chief executive Paul Guerra said.

There were another four cases in both Mildura and Geelong, all linked household contacts which has eased concern about the spread in regional areas.

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 ??  ?? Healthy shot: COVID-19 vaccinatio­n rates in Greater Shepparton continue to rise as the number of active cases keeps declining.
Healthy shot: COVID-19 vaccinatio­n rates in Greater Shepparton continue to rise as the number of active cases keeps declining.

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