News Victoria confirms 867 local COVID-19 cases, four deaths
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Victoria confirms 867 local COVID-19 cases, four deaths

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Authorities said additional cases were ‘incorrectly recorded’ in previous days. Photo: AAP
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Victoria has 867 more COVID cases and four deaths, with authorities confirming the delayed reporting of another 149 cases from previous days.

Health Minister Martin Foley said the error in daily figures was due to a software update “by a third-party vendor who supported one of our pathology providers”.

“This meant that test results were not reported to the department’s central system but were nonetheless still reported to all of those people whose tests were undertaken, including the positive cases who received their advice as per normal,” he said.

They included nine additional cases for Sunday and 140 that should have been in Monday’s figures.

These infections, as well as the 867 for Tuesday, bring the number of active cases in the state to 9261.

It is Victoria’s highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic, surpassing the previous record of 847 cases last Saturday. Also, for the first time in its latest outbreak, Victoria has reported more cases in a single day than NSW, which had 863 infections on Tuesday.

The state’s toll from the current outbreak has risen to 29 with the deaths of two men and two women in their 70s and 80s from the local government areas of Whittlesea and Hume, in Melbourne’s north.

There are 375 virus patients in Victorian hospitals. They include 81 in intensive care, 61 of those on ventilators.

Mr Foley said that more than 48 cent of the state’s over-16s were fully vaccinated, while nearly 79 per cent had had one dose, “which gives us that number to tip over into the 80 per cent single-dose trigger for those modest relaxation measures that are due to come in from 11.59pm tonight”.

There will be some tweaks to Victoria’s virus rules on Wednesday, including extending the travel limit to 15 kilometres, as well as the resumption of golf, tennis and cricket and group personal training for up to five fully vaccinated adults.

Melbourne will remain in lockdown until 70 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 are double-vaccinated, which is forecast for October 26.

There will be a more significant easing of restrictions when the 80 per cent double-dose target is met, forecast for November 5.

NSW to lift regional lockdowns

NSW has another 863 local COVID cases and seven more deaths, as it confirms the end of two more regional lockdowns.

The state’s toll from its Delta outbreak has risen to 316 with the deaths of four women and three men aged from their 40s to their 90s.

Tuesday’s daily tally is up on the 787 cases reported on Monday, but still well below the peak of two weeks ago.

“Although we can see the end is getting closer, we’re still in a situation where we need to be concerned about COVID across NSW and definitely if you’ve got any symptoms at all, go and get tested,” Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.

Across the state, 85.7 per cent of the population over the age of 16 has received a first dose of a vaccine and 60.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.

NSW is racing towards having 70 per cent of its eligible population fully vaccinated, which is expected by October 11.

Under its three-stage plan to reopen, announced on Monday, many more freedoms will be restored. They will include small indoor gatherings and the reopening of hospitality venues and hairdressers.

Mr Hazzard also confirmed the lockdowns of the Byron Bay and Tweed shires – sparked by a COVID-positive reality TV show crew member last week – would end at midnight on Tuesday.

“Thankfully we’ve had no further cases of concern, so the public health team have advised that they can come out of lockdown,” he said.

However, three more regional areas were put on notice – Port Macquarie and Muswellbrook, as well as a possible extension of the lockdown in Kempsey. Mr Hazzard said an announcement from NSW Health was possible later on Tuesday for all three local government areas.

“We just need to make some final decisions on that,” he said.

“In the meantime, my strong advice as Health Minister to all of the residents in those areas is to be very cautious where you’re moving around at the moment and to certainly go out and get vaccinated. What we do know – vaccinations work.”

NSW has 1155 COVID patients in its hospitals. For the first time in weeks, that number has not changed since the previous 24 hour period.

There are 213 people in intensive care, one fewer than on Monday. They include 113 people on ventilators.

-with AAP