Victoria reports 1,749 local COVID-19 cases amid new push to vaccinate vulnerable

The new deaths – two women and two men in their 70s, four men in their 80s, two men in their 90s, and one woman aged over 100 – take the toll from the current outbreak to 163.

It comes after 1,903 local cases and seven deaths were reported on Monday.

As Victoria races towards exiting its sixth lockdown, it’s also been confirmed another $21 million will be spent to vaccinate those who have faced barriers in getting their COVID-19 jab.

The funding will target those living with a disability, at-risk youth, seniors, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, social housing residents and family violence survivors.

Included is $13 million for those with complex needs, such as those in the child protection system, and will help them book appointments, arrange transport and offer respite or childcare.

There will also be $2.5 million for volunteer organisations such as neighbourhood houses, men’s sheds and multicultural groups to encourage their communities to get vaccinated.

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The funds further build on the neighbourhood pop-up vaccination clinics that started last week at cafes, shopping centres, bowls clubs and gyms.

“As you have seen, we have taken this program right into local communities, with pop-ups and micro pop-ups, literally neighbourhood vaccination activity, end of your street vaccination activity,” Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Tuesday.

“It is one of the reasons why some local government areas of significant concern to us only a few weeks ago have gone from 50 per cent single dose to over 90 per cent single dose in just a matter of weeks.”

Of Victorians aged over 16, 89.4 per cent have now received their first dose and 67.2 per cent are fully vaccinated. 

Typo in roadmap irks entertainment venues

Meanwhile, Melbourne entertainment venues won’t be able to open to fully vaccinated patrons indoors when lockdown ends, because a COVID-19 rule change contained a “typo”.

When roadmap changes were unveiled on Sunday, a document shared by Mr Andrews said pubs, clubs and entertainment venues would open to up to 20 double-dosed people from 11.59pm on Thursday.

But an updated version of document, published on the official Coronavirus Victoria website, notes only pubs and clubs are permitted to have patrons indoors, while entertainment venues can host up to 50 outdoors.

Mr Andrews confirmed the “typo” was rectified within hours.

“That was corrected and again I apologise if there’s any sense that a sector has been included that shouldn’t have been, but it does not include entertainment venues,” he said on Tuesday.

“Entertainment venues will be covered by 80 per cent. I know that it’s frustrating and everyone would like to be open at the one time. But we’re not talking about a three-month gap between one milestone and the next. It is literally eight or nine days and then we can have everything open.”

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