Vic finally clears virus from aged care

Roger Vaughan and Callum Godde
·2-min read

Victoria has achieved another major milestone as the state emerges from its second wave of coronavirus, with no more active cases in aged care.

The last active case linked to the sector was cleared on Wednesday afternoon, the Department of Health and Human Services says.

Aged care bore the brunt of the second wave and this is the first time since June 15 there have been no active cases in Victorian facilities.

Of Victoria's 819 coronavirus deaths, more than 650 are related to aged care.

At least two Melbourne aged care facilities are facing lawsuits over virus fatalities.

Victoria has now gone six days straight without any COVID-19 deaths or new cases, the first time since February.

But Premier Daniel Andrews' call for Victorians to holiday at home has hit a snag, with a popular Christmas destination off-limits for camping until next February.

Mornington Peninsula Shire has postponed foreshore camping for the bulk of the summer.

The reserves in Rosebud, Rye and Sorrento are major summer holiday spots.

Shire chief executive John Baker said it was not feasible to allow camping given the ongoing health guidelines.

"One of our major concerns is the transmission risk from people having to use the shared toilet and shower amenity blocks," he said.

"This approach is consistent with the chief health officer's advice which has underpinned our decision."

The Shire added it would give an update in January about reopening camping areas.

Victorian Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said her department would speak to the council about the decision.

"We do want to encourage the Mornington Shire Council and will continue to do that," she said.

Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien wants the government to "step in", suggesting the shire "got this one wrong".

"It looks like council have jumped the gun here," he told reporters.

Even as NSW prepares to reopen its Victorian border on November 23, Mr Andrews has encouraged residents to holiday at home.

"I would urge Victorians - don't be going to Sydney for Christmas unless you absolutely have to," the premier said on Wednesday.

"You want a summer holiday? We've got lots of opportunities here."

Mr Andrews said the NSW border decision was a ringing endorsement of the state's ability to manage and suppress COVID-19 outbreaks.

Victoria's other border with SA is also set to be relaxed in a fortnight, while Queensland is unmoved on its timeline to reassess its ban at the end of the month.

Melbourne's new case average has also dropped further to 1.4, while the city's mystery cases to Monday remain at two, and the corresponding figures for regional Victoria remain zero.

The state had just 20 active infections on Thursday, and the national death toll remains at 907.

Meanwhile, Carols by Candlelight announced it would go ahead without a crowd for the first time in the Melbourne event's 83-year history.