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‘Significant growth’ in regional virus cases

1 month ago 22

Health authorities will ramp up COVID-19 testing across three major regional hubs with Premier Daniel Andrews revealing “significant growth” in coronavirus cases across country Victoria.

Mr Andrews warned there had been an increase in infections in the Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo regions.

“Despite the fact they’re under a different set of rules, we have seen some growth in cases – significant growth that is of obvious concern,” he told reporters on Thursday afternoon.

There are 492 cases in regional Victoria and 7155 in metropolitan Melbourne as the state recorded 278 infections and eight more deaths overnight.

Geelong has recorded 176 infections in the past 14 days, while Bendigo had 53 and Ballarat 23 in the past two weeks.

“The best thing to do when we have growth in case numbers where there is some concern in trends and questions that cant be answered is to conduct additional testing,” Mr Andrews said.

“From tomorrow we’ll have a regional testing push in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. These additional testing sites will be opened up to support extra testing activity, that is to encourage anyone with symptoms to come forward and get tested – of course the same message applies to anyone in regional Victoria.”

The three additional testing sites will be at Ballarat Respiratory Clinic, Geelong Cardinia Health and Bendigo Respiratory Clinic.

Mystery cases have hit 3068 in Victoria, with an increase of 107 overnight.

A total of 664 Victorians are in hospital, with 37 in intensive care. Yesterday’s eight deaths take the state’s death toll to 275.

One woman in her 50s, two men in their 70s, two women and two men in their 80s and one man in his 90s died. Four of the eight deaths were linked to aged care.

Thursday’s total of 278 cases is the state’s lowest daily increase since July 20

It comes just a day after the state and country’s deadliest 24-hour period, with 21 deaths announced on Wednesday.

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