News Coronavirus Vic reports 65 new local cases of COVID-19
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Vic reports 65 new local cases of COVID-19

Testing for the deadly virus remains key to stopping its spread. Photo: AAP
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Victoria has recorded 65 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases from 44,147 tests for the virus conducted on Saturday.

Health officials say 26,149 vaccine doses were also administered across the state during the 24 hours to Saturday evening.

All of Victoria is currently under orders to stay at home as infections spread in the north.

Twenty-seven people have been hospitalised, with 21 in intensive care.

Premier Daniel Andrews says there is “every reason to believe that this is further into regional Victoria” after 21 cases were reported on Saturday from three families who have children at three local schools in Shepparton.

All regional Victorian centres entered a new lockdown at 1pm on Saturday which won’t lift until 11.59pm on September 2 under the best-case scenario.

However, regional communities have been spared the curfew imposed on the capital.

Victoria recorded 61 new locally acquired cases in total on Saturday, 39 of them infectious in the community.

An additional 16 cases were set aside to be included in Sunday’s count – all of them in Shepparton and detected through rapid testing after the city’s first positive case was reported on Friday.

As of Saturday there were 18 COVID-19 cases in hospital in Victoria – eight in intensive care and two on ventilators.

Meanwhile, 218 anti-lockdown protesters were arrested and 236 fines were issued, each worth $5452, for health breaches in Melbourne on Saturday.

A 4000-strong crowd of mostly unmasked protesters moved through the CBD letting off flares, yelling slogans and blasting music.

Six police officers were hospitalised and three people remain in custody for allegedly assaulting police.

Officers used pepper spray on multiple people and in a statement said they were left with “no choice but to use all tactics available to them”.

Access to Victorian childcare centres has been shut down for all but vulnerable children and the children of authorised workers.

Authorised workers will need to obtain permits to go to their jobs from 11.59pm on Monday.

There will be more workforce limits and mandatory testing for high-risk industries in Melbourne, such as abattoirs, meat processing centres, and supermarket distribution centres.

Masks are now being recommended for primary school students when they are indoors, to address a significant over-representation of young children among the state’s active cases.

Mr Andrews also wants students aged 12 and over to have had at least one dose of vaccine by the end of the school year.

-AAP