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Greater Ballarat to enter 7-day lockdown tonight from 11.59pm
Victoria reports 423 more Covid cases
Two more deaths announced
Greater Ballarat will enter a seven-day lockdown tonight from 11.59pm, as Victoria continues to battle its latest Covid outbreak.
Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews said "difficult decisions" were made on Wednesday morning, after a rise in cases and positive wastewater detection were recorded in the regional city.
"If we allow it to get away, one part of regional Victoria becomes a threat and a risk to all of regional Victoria," Mr Andrews said. "We can’t have that happen."
The premier once again urged the public to get vaccinated as 423 new cases are reported.
"This is going where the vaccines aren't," Mr Andrews said on Wednesday.
"This is going to the unvaccinated, this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated."
The news comes as Shepparton exits its three-day snap lockdown after no new cases were detected.
Of the new locally acquired cases announced in Ballarat, two worked in the region and two are household contacts of a case announced yesterday.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says it's likely there's been a week of transmission within the community, with the waste water detection picked up the virus from September 8.
"So there are likely to be more cases and it is for that reason that going to an immediate lockdown is really the right response," he says.
Ballarat residents will have to abide by stay-at-home orders with only five reasons to leave home, no visitors allowed at homes and a five-kilometre travel limit will apply.
Mr Andrews confirmed that extra Covid vaccinations would be sent to Ballarat, where 70 per cent of the population have received their first dose.
The Premier also said the seven-day lockdown will be used to vaccinate "as many people as we can beyond that."
423 cases of Covid recorded
Victoria recorded 423 new cases of Covid-19 and two more deaths on Wednesday. Of the new cases, 149 are linked to known outbreaks and cases.
A man in his 40s and a man in his 70s have died after testing positive to Covid-19.
There are now 4038 active cases of coronavirus in Victoria.
According to Mr Sutton, Victoria's case numbers are yet to peak, with there being a possibility of seeing over 1000 cases very real.
"We haven’t peaked, unfortunately," he said.
"The modelling and everything we know in relation to our current vaccination coverage would suggest that cases will continue to increase. The fact that they have been held in the 400s, again, are testament to everyone in those suburbs and who’s isolating and quarantining and to the contact-tracing work that’s been done.
"But it’s a very hard number to keep under wraps and vaccination alone won’t, won’t mean that there’s a peak at the 400s."
Roadmap to be released on Sunday
Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed Victoria's roadmap out of lockdown will be released on Sunday.
The roadmap, outlining restrictions through to November, will rely on Burnet Institute modelling of vaccination and hospitalisation rates.
Additionally, once 70 per cent of eligible Victorians have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine — expected on Friday — Melbourne residents will get an extra hour of outdoor activity and the travel radius will be expanded from five to 10 kilometres.
68.3 per cent of Victorians have received their first Covid vaccination.
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