News State Victoria News Victoria confirms 1612 more cases, eight deaths
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Victoria confirms 1612 more cases, eight deaths

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Victoria has another 1612 local COVID cases as it begins to trial a vaccine checking system. Photo: Getty
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Victoria has confirmed another 1612 local COVID cases and eight more deaths as it begins to trial a vaccine checking system ahead of a planned end to the Melbourne lockdown later in October.

Monday’s cases were down on the 1890 reported on Sunday, and the 1965 on Saturday.

The latest fatalities were two women in their 70s and men aged from their 40s to their 80s, all from Melbourne.

There are now 19,012 active coronavirus cases across the state.

Victoria’s vaccination rates continue to climb, as it heads towards 70 per cent of over-16s fully vaccinated, which is likely about October 25.

Once it gets to 80 per cent – forecast for the first week of November – there will be a significant reopening statewide.

As of Sunday, 86 per cent of eligible Victorians were at least partially vaccinated.

Health Minister Martin Foley said with vaccine supplies guaranteed, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines would immediately become available to anyone over 12 at state-run clinics.

“As we push towards 70 and 80 per cent double dose and beyond, it’s time to throw open the doors of all of our clinics, more than 60 of them across the state, to the mRNA vaccines, particularly Moderna and Pfizer, for all-comers,” he said.

The state government is trialling its vaccination checking system ahead of that date. It will allow Bendigo gym owner Reece Tuohey to double his patron numbers – and not before time, he says.

“For gyms it’s been a rough road, it’s been getting close to two years now,” Mr Tuohey said.

His gym, BodyFit Training, is one of 15 regional venues participating in the trial starting on Monday, in which businesses will check the jab status of patrons.

Patrons will be asked to show they are fully vaccinated by displaying a digital certificate via the Services Victoria app, Medicare app or smartphone wallet.

A printed version of the certificate or immunisation history statement can also be used as proof, or the patron will need to show evidence of a valid exemption.

The trials will test the vaccine certification technology and train staff and business owners on how to communicate vaccine requirements to patrons.

If successful, the system will be scaled up so double-vaccinated Victorians can attend the Melbourne Cup and live music within weeks.

About 10,000 racing fans will be able to attend the Melbourne Cup on November 2, while Oaks Day and Stakes Day will be allowed similar-sized crowds if the state reaches its 80 per cent double-jab threshold.

A live music event will also be held at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl on October 30 with thousands attending.

There were more than 34,000 vaccines administered in Victorian hubs on Sunday, after almost 40,000 on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a Brighton school says it will become the first in the state to use rapid antigen testing for COVID-19.

From Thursday, Firbank Grammar School will begin using rapid tests twice a week on all people who enter its senior school.

-with AAP