News Coronavirus Victoria halts country trains as COVID numbers keep growing

Victoria halts country trains as COVID numbers keep growing

Regional Victorians will have to use buses after scores of train drivers were forced into isolation. Photo: AAP
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Victoria has reported 392 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases as coaches replace all V/Line services after scores of train drivers were placed into isolation.

The health department on Sunday confirmed 107 cases were linked to known outbreaks, with the source of the still 285 under investigation.

It brings the total number of active cases in the state to 3112.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley on Saturday said the current outbreak was concentrated in the young and unvaccinated, with most of the state’s active cases under the age of 40.

In the 24 hours to Sunday morning, 48,063 tests were processed and 36,534 Victorians received a vaccine dose at a state-run hub.

It comes as all of Victoria’s regional train services have been suspended on Sunday after more than 180 drivers and operational staff were placed in isolation following four positive coronavirus tests among workers.

“Out of an abundance of caution we are suspending all trains on Sunday to limit the spread and to keep everyone safe,” the Department of Transport said in a statement late on Saturday evening.

“Replacing trains with coaches will allow for services to continue to operate, give passengers certainty for Monday and help contain the outbreak.”

Coaches will operate to an hourly frequency across most lines and not the scheduled Sunday train timetable.