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Victoria has recorded 1638 new local coronavirus cases and two deaths, as major travel permit changes make it easier for stranded residents to get home, and child cancer patients and their families wake up in quarantine.
Thursday’s daily case number is the nation’s second-highest since the start of the pandemic, after Victoria recorded 1763 cases on Tuesday.
NSW and the ACT were downgraded under Victoria’s traffic light travel permit system at 11.59pm on Wednesday. Credit:Jason Robins
They bring Victoria’s total number of active coronavirus cases to 15,074.
More than 36,672 Victorians rolled up their sleeves to receive a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, while more than 77,238 test results were processed.
From 11.59pm on Wednesday, locked-down areas of NSW and the ACT were downgraded from “extreme risk zones” to “red zones” under Victoria’s travel permit system.
Only Victorians are eligible for red zone permits. The downgrading means they no longer have to be fully vaccinated to get back into the state, and they do not have to test negative in the 72 hours before entering.
They still have to quarantine for 14 days immediately upon their arrival, and get tested twice throughout their quarantine period.
Previous red zones – parts of regional NSW and the ACT that are not in lockdown – became “orange zones” at 11.59pm.
That means both residents and non-residents of Victoria in those areas can come into the state on an orange zone travel permit.
The permit requires them to isolate on arrival, get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours, and stay isolated until they return a negative test result.
Health Minister Martin Foley said the changes make it easier for Victorians to come back home, as well as improve movements between Victoria, NSW and the ACT.
“As we are confident the risks continue to be mitigated in NSW, we want to make sure that we continue to keep a close eye on that,” Mr Foley said on Wednesday.
“If there are further changes to be made in due course, we will of course, let everybody know.”
Child cancer patients and their families woke up in quarantine on Thursday morning after part of the Royal Melbourne Children’s Hospital was declared a tier-1 coronavirus exposure site.
Children receiving treatment in the Kookaburra cancer ward and their parents were told they must isolate for 14 days in their child’s hospital room, or at home if they were due to be discharged, after the oncology unit was deemed a tier-1 exposure site.
Hospital chief executive Bernadette McDonald said a parent who had stayed in the cancer ward tested positive to the virus.
Victorian health authorities identified a number of additional COVID-19 exposure sites late on Wednesday evening, including several early learning centres.
KingKids Early Learning Centre and Kindergarten at Mooroolbark was declared a tier-1 or close contact site between 8am and 12pm over three days: from Wednesday, September 29 through to Friday, October 1.
Clyde North YMCA Early Learning Centre was declared tier-1 on Monday, September 27 between 8am and 11am.
Peach and Plum Early Learning Centre at Altona Meadows was declared tier-1 over four days: on Tuesday, September 28 between 8.35am and 3.45pm, on Wednesday, September 29 between 7.50am and 3.10pm, on Thursday, September 30 between 6.30am and 3pm, and on Friday, October 1 between 6.30am and 6.30pm.
Guardian Childcare at Caulfield North was declared tier-1 between 6.45am and 3.30pm over three days from Tuesday, September 28 through to Thursday, September 30, and between 6.45am and 5pm on Friday, October 1.
With Melissa Cunningham and Timna Jacks
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