‘We will deliver’: Victoria on track to follow road out of restrictions despite record 2297 COVID-19 cases

Primary close contact students will be able to sit VCE exams

The figures come as state health authorities announced VCE students who are primary close contacts will now be able to sit their exams.

Outside of attending their exams, primary close contacts will have to isolate for 14 days at home if they are unvaccinated, and seven days if they are fully vaccinated. They will sit their exams in dedicated rooms with separate entrances, either by themselves or safely distanced from other students.

They will be supervised by staff who will wear face shields and enhanced PPE in ventilated rooms.

Each student who is a primary close contact will need to be tested for COVID-19 every 48 hours in the first week after their exposure, and then again on day 13.

Mr Merlino said the process for VCE students who test positive for COVID-19 will stay the same.Credit:Jason South

200m mental health fund for students

Victorian Education Minister James Merlino also announced schools would have a choice as to what mental health support they wanted to receive under the $200 million mental health fund.

The choices would include evidence-based programs and initiatives with three levels of support, including positive mental health promotion, early intervention initiatives and targeted support for students experiencing mental health issues.

Mr Merlino said the program would kick in across all government schools in regional Victoria from mid-2022, and the government wanted to have it rolled out across all state schools by 2024.

Mitchell Shire exits lockdown

Mitchell Shire’s lockdown lifted at 11.59pm on Wednesday, bringing the area into line with the rest of regional Victoria.

While the limited reasons for people to leave their homes and the 15-kilometre travel limit will no longer apply, people in the area still have to wear masks indoors. They also cannot travel to Melbourne.

Victoria recorded 2297 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

Victoria recorded 2297 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. Credit:Chris Hopkins

The Mitchell Shire went into what was meant to be a seven-day snap lockdown along with the Surf Coast Shire and Greater Geelong on Sunday, September 19. While the lockdowns were lifted for the latter two local government areas after a week, Mitchell remained under restrictions.

Victorian health authorities identified a number of new close-contact COVID-19 exposure sites in other regional areas late on Wednesday evening.

In Geelong, The Groove Train restaurant at Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre was listed as a tier-1 site on Friday, October 8 and Saturday, October 9, and the Biryani King restaurant on Malop Street in central Geelong was identified as a close-contact exposure on Monday, October 4 and Tuesday, October 5.

2Cousins Shisha Hookah Lounge and cafe was a site on Saturday, October 9, while Upstate Studios, a pilates, yoga and boxing centre in Geelong, were all listed for Thursday, October 7.

The Golden Dragon restaurant at Geelong was listed on Thursday, September 30. The Village Cinema screening of Candy Man in the regional city was identified as a tier-1 site on the same day, while the Commun Ne Fein Hotel was identified as close contact on Wednesday, October 6 and Thursday, October 7.

In South Ballarat, Body and Soul Genesis 24/7 Gym was listed as tier-1 on Tuesday, October 5. In Shepparton, IGA Caf ¯ Fairley’s Supa IGA was listed for Thursday, September 30.


In Torquay, Bomboras restaurant was listed as a close contact exposure site on Wednesday, October 6, and Two Sugars was listed for Saturday, October 9.

In Swan Hill, Clikk Hair Design by Stacey was listed on Monday, October 4. Honeyeater hair and beauty salon in Bendigo was listed for Tuesday, October 5, and Saturday, October 9.

Several sites were also listed in Halls Gap: Spirit of Punjab Indian restaurant; Paper Scissors Rock Brew Co.; Livefact Cafe; Frame Brothers Restaurant and Bar; and, Grampians Adventure Golf, Cafe and Moco Gallery.

In Stawell, Industry and Co. Barbering and Hairdressing was listed as a tier-1 site on Friday, October 8.

La Passion Cafe and Restaurant in Warrugal was listed on Sunday, October 3. In Warrnambool, Ichiban Izakaya Japanese Restaurant and Pavilion Cafe and Bar were also identified as close contact exposure sites.

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