Regional testing push begins

Premier Daniel Andrews.

By Luke Voogt

Geelong now has almost half of regional Victoria’s COVID-19 cases with a new testing push set to begin tomorrow.

“From tomorrow, we’ll begin a massive regional testing effort to ensure we’re uncovering every single case we can,” Premier Daniel Andrews announced today.

Mr Andrews also announced Victoria’s Coronavirus Test Isolation Payment would increase to $450 across the state, to keep people at home after testing.

Geelong’s active COVID-19 cases dropped by seven, despite the city recording three new cases, according to the Department of Health Human Services.

Greater Geelong had 295 cases as of midnight on Wednesday, compared to 292 the day before.

But active cases dropped from 179 to 172, suggesting 10 people had recovered.

Colac Otway Shire had 61 active cases as of midnight on Wednesday, down 13 on the previous day.

Surf Coast Shire had five active cases and Golden Plains Shire had 11 as of midnight on Wednesday.

The department has so far linked 82 cases to an outbreak at Colac’s Australian Lamb Company abattoir and 45 to an outbreak at Golden Farms Poultry in Breakwater.

Statewide, the daily increase continued to slow amid Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown.

Victoria recorded 278 new COVID-19 cases with 61 reclassified, largely due to duplication, increasing the total by 217 to 15,863.

Another eight Victorians have died from COVID-19, including four aged-care residents, bringing the state’s death toll to 275.

They include a woman in her 50s, two men in their 70s, two women and two men in their 80s and a man his 90s.

Of the new cases 64 are linked to outbreaks or complex cases, and 214 are under investigation.

Victoria has 7866 active cases with 3068 cases from unknown transmission.

Currently 664 Victorians are in hospital after contracting COVID-19 with 37 in intensive care, while 7493 people have recovered.

Of the total cases, 14,556 are from metropolitan Melbourne, while 957 are from regional Victoria.

More than 1,895,566 tests have been processed to date.

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