News Coronavirus Victoria’s cases record a big drop but COVID still claims 12 more lives

Victoria’s cases record a big drop but COVID still claims 12 more lives

Even as 12 more Victorians were losing their battle against COVID, anti-vaxxers protested on the steps on Victorian Parliament. Photo: Getty
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Victoria has added a further 1036 locally acquired infections – down from 1355 the day before – to its COVID-19 caseload along with 12 more virus-related deaths.

More than 700 Victorian virus patients remain in hospital, 128 of them in intensive care and 80 of them receiving ventilation.

Health officials say almost 57,000 tests for COVID-19 were conducted across the state in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, while 22,369 vaccine doses were administered at state-run clinics.

Victoria is now 80 per cent fully vaccinated for people aged 16 and over.

Trick-or-treaters are meanwhile being urged to stay outdoors and keep their distance to make sure Halloween doesn’t lead to a COVID-19 nightmare.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton wants parents along with children in costume planning to go house to house collecting lollies on Sunday to stick to the rules, especially since those under 12 aren’t yet eligible for a vaccine.

It is recommended trick-or-treaters stay outside and keep their distance,  homes only offer individually wrapped lollies and parents encourage kids to clean their hands with sanitiser.

Home testing kits

Any Halloween parties in homes cannot have more than 10 visitors, in line with the state’s current gathering restrictions.

From Monday, Victorians will be able to purchase rapid antigen tests from the likes of Coles and Woolworths to test themselves for the virus from home.

COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar says people should keep the tests in drawers and use them for extra reassurance when symptomatic.

As restrictions eased further ahead of the state hitting its 80 per cent full vaccination target on Saturday, Victorians enjoyed their first post-lockdown major events.

A 5500-strong crowd was allowed through the gates of Flemington Racecourse for Saturday’s Derby Day, before almost 4000 fans turned out for a concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in the evening.

Several hundred protesters also gathered outside Victoria’s parliament on Saturday afternoon after the state government introduced new pandemic legislation.