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Premier does not rule out lockdown in regional Victoria, Shepparton community urged to be tested

 

Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews says “nothing is out of the question” when it comes to further lockdown restrictions in regional Victoria, following news of a positive case in Shepparton on Friday morning.

“We have a case there (in Shepparton), some wastewater detection in regional Victoria, but we’re asking people in Shepparton to come forward and get tested,” he said.

“I remind you that the Shepparton community did a great job last year, they came into force and were tested and were able to drive that (outbreak) into the ground.

“We have every chance of doing that again…I know the people of the Goulburn Valley will stand up and get tested.”

When asked whether the Goulburn Valley should expect a lockdown announcement on Friday afternoon, Mr Andrews was unequivocal.

“No,” he said.

“I’m being as candid as we can be – nothing is off the table because I don’t do rule ins or rule outs.

“We’ll follow the advice, we’ll follow the evidence… We’ll see what else we can do today and tonight.”

The 57 cases reported today do not include the positive case in Shepparton, which will be included in tomorrow’s numbers.

Victorian COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar said he had been informed that a man in his thirties was identified as a positive case in Shepparton Friday morning.

“At the moment we have new details,” Mr Weimar said.

The man’s family was tested this morning and Mr Weimar said he expects results Friday afternoon.

Two of his children attend St Mel’s Primary School.

“I WILL DRIVE EVERYONE IN SHEPPARTON WHEN WE START IDENTIFYING EXPOSURE SITES AND ANYONE SYMPTOMATIC IN SHEPPARTON – THEN COME THROUGH AND GET TESTED.”


With Shepparton remaining under lower restrictions than Melbourne, Mr Weimar said it was very important that any links to the positive case were identified.

Weimar said there would be “more to say” about the Shepparton outbreak in the coming days.

The Prime Minister stressed that Victorians must abide by lockdown restrictions this weekend to avoid impending disaster.

“Staying at home means staying at home. It’s not about looking for every loophole, exemption, blind spot where people can’t see you,” he said.

There are 15 people in hospital, six in intensive care and one person on a ventilator.

“Those numbers aren’t going to stay that low if we allow this to get away from us,” Andrews said.

“This isn’t just delicate, it’s not just a tipping point, we’re on the brink of this getting rid of us.

“Kids will get this, people of all ages will get this, people who are fit and healthy will end up in hospital and people will die.

“And not someone you’ve never heard of, and not someone who was in the twilight of their lives, but people who are otherwise healthy.”

On Thursday, 28,601 doses were administered at state-run vaccination clinics and 48,273 test results were received.