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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Regional Victorian city of Ballarat to enter lockdown with Shepparton set to emerge

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews acknowledged the “mixed news” for regional Victoria.

“It’s great news for Shepparton, not so great for the people of Ballarat,” he informed reporters in Melbourne.

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“If we allow it to get away in one part of regional Victoria, it becomes a threat and a risk to all of regional Victoria. We simply can’t have that happen.

“Shepparton exhibits you {that a} group will be locked down, can stick collectively, will be supported and ship basic management of an outbreak.”

Ballarat residents will have to abide by stay-at-home orders with only five reasons to leave home, visitors at homes will be banned and a five-kilometre travel limit will apply.

It comes after Victoria recorded 423 new coronavirus cases and two deaths on Wednesday, as the number of total active infections climbed above 4000.

Five cases were in regional areas of Ballarat and Geelong.

Of the new cases, 149 are linked to known outbreaks and the source of the remaining 274 is under investigation.

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Two deaths were also reported, a man in his 40s from Whittlesea and another man in his 70s from Wyndham, bringing the toll from the current outbreak to eight.

It is not yet known if one of the deaths is a 46-year-old man who worked at a Serco call centre in Mill Park.

Martin Blight became infected with COVID-19 after a workplace outbreak died in hospital on Monday, according to the Australian Services Union.

The union remembered Mr Blight as “a dedicated ASU member, a father, a buddy to many” and said his family encourages everyone to get vaccinated “as quickly as potential”.

It’s unclear whether he was vaccinated but he had a Pfizer vaccine booked in for September, according to his Facebook.

It comes as Victorians may be given more freedoms from Friday, with an extra hour of exercise and an expanded travel limit on the table once 70 per cent of those eligible have received their first COVID-19 dose.

Mr Andrews has confirmed the state’s roadmap out of lockdown will be released on Sunday.

The roadmap, outlining restrictions through to November, will rely on Burnet Institute modelling of vaccination and hospitalisation rates. 

However, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has criticised the government for “stringing the group alongside for one more week”.

He known as for an instantaneous finish to the 9pm to 5am curfew, household out of doors gatherings and the return of Year 11 and 12 college students for the beginning of time period 4.

In the 24 hours to Wednesday morning, 54,649 assessments have been processed and 41,856 Victorians acquired a vaccine dose at a state-run hub, with the quantity of energetic circumstances within the state now 4,038.

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