45 per cent of Covid cases aged 10 to 29
Students to return to face-to-face in October
New vaccine initiative for Indigenous Australians
Almost half of Victoria's new Covid cases are younger than 30, Deputy Premier James Merlino has revealed.
The state recorded 1,377 new Covid cases on Monday as Melbourne claimed the unenviable title of the world's most locked down city. Sadly, four more people have died from the virus.
"Of the new cases we are reporting today, 45 per cent are aged between 10 and 29," Mr Merlino said during a media conference this morning.
There are 498 people in hospital with Covid-19. Of those, 96 are in the ICU and 59 are on a ventilator, he added.
The news comes as it was revealed Victoria students will return to face-to-face learning progressively through October.
"I'm excited about that. I can't wait to see kids back in front with their teachers and their peers," Mr Merlino said.
"I know that my kids are excited and this will happen as per the roadmap both in regional Victoria and in metropolitan Melbourne over the course of the weeks through October.
"I especially want to send a big 'good luck' to all our final year students. As I said, tomorrow the GAT will be held, and this is a most significant initiative," he said while thanking students for their "incredible resilience and grit".
Mr Merlino said of the around 8,000 students taking the GAT, 33 have tested positive for Covid.
"The Department of Education is contacting these students and letting them know that they cannot sit the GAT and we'll make arrangements for how they can sit their exams at a later stage," the deputy premier said.
Victoria launches new vaccination initiative
Victoria authorities also announced on Monday that a partnership has been formed to increase the vaccination rate among Indigenous Australians.
"The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, community leaders and other health services are partnering to bring dedicated vaccination vans into our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities," Mr Merlino said.
"Three of Victoria's Smile Squad dental vans will be repurposed as vaccination vans with the first heading to Shepparton today.
"Shepparton has the largest Aboriginal population in Victoria outside of Melbourne, and is currently in lockdown where it is battling an outbreak."
He said 65 per cent of the state's Indigenous population have received a first dose.
"We do know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at a higher risk of Covid-19 due to a number of factor, including pre-existing medical conditions and large households. So this is a really important initiative which will bring the vaccine directly to some of our most at-risk communities," he said.
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