BREAKING: Victoria COVID-19 crisis

Border Checkpoint TBW Newsgroup
BORDER CHECKS: South Australian Police border operations check on travellers entering the state from Victoria at the Jubilee Highway checkpoint. Picture: TODD LEWIS

UPDATE 5.38pm –

THE region’s medical chief has urged Limestone Coast community members not to travel to Victoria unless it is under “life-threatening” circumstances.

Limestone Coast Local Health Network executive director of medical services Dr Elaine Pretorius said the Limestone Coast is “by no means” in the clear of the COVID-19 virus despite not recording a case in more than three months.

“My advice to the general public is that I would not go to Victoria unless it was a life-threatening situation,” Dr Pretorius said.

“I think the risk is growing very rapidly now – you can see how very quickly 30 cases can become 191 cases and they have more than 700 active cases now.”

More details to follow

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UPDATE 3.59pm –

South Australian Police Commissioner and state Grant Stevens said negotiations were ongoing with the Australian Defence Force to secure army support in manning all roads into the state.

The state will introduce its toughest border controls since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared from tomorrow night.

“We will have static checkpoints on virtually all roads and some roads will be closed with physical barriers being put in place,” Comm Stevens said.

Within the last hour, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced stage three restrictions for Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, effectively locking down the metropolitan area with stay-at-home orders.

Premier Andrews said Victoria Police and ADF personnel would help monitor a hard boundary between metropolitian Melbourne and regional Victoria to protect country areas.

More details to follow

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UPDATE 2.39pm –

STRICTER BORDER CONTROLS: Border control measures at the SA-VIC border will be ramped up after South Australian health minister Stephen Wade labelled Victoria “a clear threat to public health” in South Australia.

From midnight on Wednesday, people travelling from Victoria to South Australia will not be allowed to enter the state and quarantine unless they are a returning South Australian resident or classified as an essential traveller.

People who meet the essential traveller requirement will have to self-quarantine when not performing the duties they have been approved for in the state.

This is includes wearing personal protective equipment – such as face masks – when interacting with South Australians.

Cross-border community members will have kilometre restrictions placed on how far they can travel in South Australia. Further details on this measures have not been revealed.

South Australian Police are currently consulting with the Australian Defence Force about supporting border control measures.

Patrols will ramp up their focus on all roads leading into South Australia from Victoria.

More details to follow

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UPDATE 1.45pm –

A Melbourne family of four which visited Port Fairy last week has since tested positive for COVID-19 with an investigation led by health officials and police, including contract tracing, now under way.

The family stayed in the coastal hotspot for three days before learning a relative in Melbourne had contracted COVID-19, with the two adults and two children cutting their holiday short and returning to the Victorian capital where they tested positive for the virus.

In a statement issued this morning, Moyne Shire Mayor Daniel Meade said council was working with the relevant authorities to ensure all necessary precautions are taken.

“The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has advised that as they were not showing any symptoms, the risk of community transmission is low,” Cr Meade said.

South West Healthcare is carrying out a deep clean of the facility where the family stayed, and DHHS will lead the investigation, including contact tracing.

“Further details of where the family visited while in Port Fairy are not yet known and will be part of the DHHS investigation and contact tracing,” Cr Meade said.

Victoria recorded a record number of 191 new cases of coronavirus overnight, taking the state tally to 2824 total cases, including 772 currently active.

More details to follow

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