Victoria’s Covid crisis worsens as 246 new cases are recorded as the state races to vaccinate all Year 12 students in time for their final exams
- Victoria recorded 246 Covid-19 cases amid rush to vaccinate Year 12 students
- State’s Department of Health said only 90 linked to known cases and outbreaks
- Victoria aims to vaccinate all students with at least one dose before final exams
- Vaccination drive is part of a 10-day priority access scheme starting on Tuesday
Victoria has recorded 246 new Covid-19 cases overnight as the state rushes to vaccinate its Year 12 students before their end-of-year exams begin.
The state’s Department of Health on Tuesday morning said only 90 are linked to known cases and outbreaks and 156 are still under investigation.
Victoria is aiming to get all students in their final year of high school vaccinated with at least one dose before their final exams, as part of a 10-day priority access scheme beginning on Tuesday.
Pfizer bookings opened for year 12 students, teachers, exam supervisors and assessors on Monday, with a dedicated hotline fielding 30,000 calls before lunch.
By Monday afternoon, the health department said more than 7,000 priority bookings had been made.
Victoria has recorded 246 new Covid-19 cases overnight. Pictured are a group of residents drinking a beer from plastic cups in St Kilda in Melbourne on September 4
Health Minister Martin Foley said the system had been ‘hammered’ because of the ‘wild enthusiasm’ of the cohort of about 50,000 students.
COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar urged the group to remain patient, reminding year 11 students studying VCE subjects they had to wait until Wednesday to book.
‘Can I just assure every VCE student … there’s a dose set aside for you. There’s no frantic rush,’ he said.
Charlotte Sherlock, a year 12 student at Brunswick Secondary College, rolled up her sleeve on Monday at the newly relocated Melbourne Museum vaccination site to promote the blitz.
‘I’ve finally got it now and I don’t have to worry about having to make phone calls and wait in lines,’ said the 17-year-old, who has missed more than 100 days of face-to-face learning.
Premier Daniel Andrews will this week outline a plan for Melbourne schools to reopen in term four, and he has also foreshadowed releasing parts of regional Victoria from lockdown.
Of the state’s 246 new cases on Monday, two were truck drivers who live in Mooroopna and Wodonga and contracted COVID-19 in NSW.
Meanwhile, two apartment blocks in Plummer Street, Port Melbourne, have been declared tier one exposure sites after an infected person or persons went to the premises between August 31 and Monday. Residents must get tested and isolate for 14 days.
Melbourne will remain under tough lockdown restrictions until at least 70 per cent of eligible Victorians receive their first vaccine dose.
The state has hit 60 per cent first dose coverage and is expected to reach the 70 per cent target by about September 19, sooner than the government anticipated.