Ballarat to be set free from lockdown at midnight

coronavirus,

BALLARAT COVID UPDATE, Wednesday, September 22 NEW CASES: 0 ACTIVE CASES: 18 UPDATE, 12PM: Ballarat will end its seven-day lockdown at midnight tonight (Wednesday). Deputy premier James Merlino made the announcement on Wednesday morning, declaring health authorities were confident they had a clear picture of the COVID outbreak in the city. There were no new cases in Ballarat recorded on Tuesday, from the 11 new cases in regional Victoria. “The public health team feel they have the outbreak contained and thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the residents who came out in droves to get tested and followed lockdown rules,” he said. “My thanks to the entire community of Ballarat.” Ballarat will return to the same settings as the remainder of regional Victoria. The Department of Health and Human Services also confirmed a GovHub worker from Melbourne is believed to have brought the virus to Ballarat, passing it on to a Ballarat-based worker at the building. READ MORE: Also announced today were new rules surrounding vaccinations in schools. All staff in schools and early childhood services will need to have their first vaccine dose by October 18 and be fully vaccinated by November 29. You can see the full announcement about schools below. EARLIER, 9AM: Victoria has recorded 628 new COVID cases. There were also three deaths recorded. The daily morning update no longer includes data on how many cases are classified as mystery cases. There were 60,829 tests processed and 43,056 Victorians received a vaccine dose at state-run hubs. Meanwhile, protesters are being warned to stay home as Melbourne braces for its third day of demonstrations over mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and other restrictions for the construction industry. Chaos has engulfed the city centre over the past two days as demonstrators, mostly men dressed in hi-vis workwear, took to the streets voicing their distrust in the vaccine and anger at the government. The violent mob of hundreds of people brought the city and the West Gate Bridge to a standstill on Tuesday, and at one stage police fired rubber bullets and smoke rounds to keep them under control. Victoria Police arrested 62 protesters, some for assaulting police, but most for breaching public health orders. “I implore you to stay home,” Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said on Tuesday night. “Our tactics tomorrow will be different.” OTHER NEWS: It is not clear if demonstrators are all union members, with CFMEU Victorian construction secretary John Setka blaming “neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists” for hijacking the event. He urged construction workers to stay at home. “My advice to them would be to not take part in the protest today. It’s been hijacked by extremist groups and it’s not our values,” he told the ABC on Wednesday. Premier Daniel Andrews and other unions have labelled the protest as selfish. “There is no excuse for the terrible behaviour we have seen in our city over the last two days,” Mr Andrews said in a statement on Tuesday night. “Acts of violence and disruption won’t result in one less case of COVID – in fact, it only helps the virus to spread.” The ambulance union pleaded with protesters to think of others. “The fight against COVID-19 is not in the street. For our health workers the fight is very real, very exhausting, very painful and very dangerous,” the union said in a statement on Tuesday night. “You are thinking of yourself only. There has never been a more important time to match the selflessness of health workers, with your own.” The state government has shut down the construction industry for two weeks in metropolitan Melbourne, City of Ballarat, City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire. The Stawell Times-News has removed the paywall from our stories relating to health warnings and safety of the community. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

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UPDATED

BALLARAT COVID UPDATE, Wednesday, September 22

UPDATE, 12PM: Ballarat will end its seven-day lockdown at midnight tonight (Wednesday).

Deputy premier James Merlino made the announcement on Wednesday morning, declaring health authorities were confident they had a clear picture of the COVID outbreak in the city.

There were no new cases in Ballarat recorded on Tuesday, from the 11 new cases in regional Victoria.

“The public health team feel they have the outbreak contained and thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the residents who came out in droves to get tested and followed lockdown rules,” he said.

“My thanks to the entire community of Ballarat.”

Ballarat will return to the same settings as the remainder of regional Victoria.

The Department of Health and Human Services also confirmed a GovHub worker from Melbourne is believed to have brought the virus to Ballarat, passing it on to a Ballarat-based worker at the building.

Also announced today were new rules surrounding vaccinations in schools.

All staff in schools and early childhood services will need to have their first vaccine dose by October 18 and be fully vaccinated by November 29.

You can see the full announcement about schools below.

EARLIER, 9AM: Victoria has recorded 628 new COVID cases.

There were also three deaths recorded.

The daily morning update no longer includes data on how many cases are classified as mystery cases.

There were 60,829 tests processed and 43,056 Victorians received a vaccine dose at state-run hubs.

Meanwhile, protesters are being warned to stay home as Melbourne braces for its third day of demonstrations over mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and other restrictions for the construction industry.

Chaos has engulfed the city centre over the past two days as demonstrators, mostly men dressed in hi-vis workwear, took to the streets voicing their distrust in the vaccine and anger at the government.

The violent mob of hundreds of people brought the city and the West Gate Bridge to a standstill on Tuesday, and at one stage police fired rubber bullets and smoke rounds to keep them under control.

Victoria Police arrested 62 protesters, some for assaulting police, but most for breaching public health orders.

“I implore you to stay home,” Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said on Tuesday night.

“Our tactics tomorrow will be different.”

It is not clear if demonstrators are all union members, with CFMEU Victorian construction secretary John Setka blaming “neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists” for hijacking the event.

He urged construction workers to stay at home.

“My advice to them would be to not take part in the protest today. It’s been hijacked by extremist groups and it’s not our values,” he told the ABC on Wednesday.

Premier Daniel Andrews and other unions have labelled the protest as selfish.

“There is no excuse for the terrible behaviour we have seen in our city over the last two days,” Mr Andrews said in a statement on Tuesday night.

“Acts of violence and disruption won’t result in one less case of COVID – in fact, it only helps the virus to spread.”

The ambulance union pleaded with protesters to think of others.

“The fight against COVID-19 is not in the street. For our health workers the fight is very real, very exhausting, very painful and very dangerous,” the union said in a statement on Tuesday night.

“You are thinking of yourself only. There has never been a more important time to match the selflessness of health workers, with your own.”

The state government has shut down the construction industry for two weeks in metropolitan Melbourne, City of Ballarat, City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire.

The Stawell Times-News has removed the paywall from our stories relating to health warnings and safety of the community. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

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