COVID-19 Victorian Situation

Latest update July 28, 2021 

Victoria's lockdown will ended at midnight on Tuesday July 27. The number of new cases reported today July 28 was just 8 - all of which had spent their entire infectious period in isolation. 

Note, however, the number of exposure sites is reducing, but there are still over 300. It is crucial to check the public exposure sites on this page and take the action required.

Restrictions (from 11.59 pm July 27) - restrictions are in place for the whole of the state:  

  • Victorians can leave home for any reason

  • While up to 25 per cent (or 10 whichever is greater) of workers can return to the workplace, the advice is still that if you can work from home, you should do so
  • For the next two weeks, visitors to the home are still not allowed. However, Victorians may visit their intimate partner or their single social bubble buddy. 

  • Schools have re-opened for all students.

  • Hospitality venues, shops, gyms and so on have re-opened, with maximum numbers and space quotients (4 square metres per person).

  • There will be no crowds at large sporting events such as the AFL.
  • Face masks must be worn indoors and outdoors whenever leaving home.

    Face masks do not need to be worn indoors or outdoors if you are working alone unless another person enters that indoor or outdoor space.

Checking in using QR codes remains mandatory - including for all workplaces, with limited exceptions. If someone is unable to check in with a QR code, their details must be recorded at a specially set up 'kiosk' at the place.  

These restrictions will remain in place for the next two weeks - although the government may decide to change them as required. . 

For a summary of changes and to keep up, go to  COVID-19 Chief Health Officer update (updated regularly, but not daily)

Cases 

The latest numbers: the total number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed in Victoria is 20,932, with 205 of these being active. Today, Wednesday July 28, there were only 8 new cases - but the good news is that they were all in isolation for the entirety of their infectious period.

The main variant of concern in Australia is the Delta variant. It now appears that there is a further variant of the Delta strain. (see: Tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants, WHO)

It is important to check public exposure sites where positive cases have been known to have been, as if you have been in any of these sites you will need to take action, such as getting tested and self-isolating. Check the public exposure sites on this page. There is also a site where you can find any exposure sites 'near me' - click here.

If you have any symptoms at all:

  • do not go to work
  • get tested immediately

The state’s death toll remains at 820. For up to date stats, go to the COVID Live website. 

Businesses 

All businesses which are operating in any way must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place. The plan focuses on safety, prevention and response in the event that coronavirus is linked to the workplace. Details on creating a COVID Safe workplace are available here.

The COVID Safe Plan must set out:  

  • The employer's actions to help prevent the introduction of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace 
  • The level of face-covering or personal protective equipment (PPE) required in your workplace 
  • How the employer will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace 
  • How the employer will meet all of the requirements set out by the Victorian Government. Some higher-risk industries or workplaces have additional requirements of employers and employees.   

More information can be found on this section of the Business Victoria website. There is a template available which can be utilised.

More information here.

Victoria's vaccine program - go to this new page.

View the  latest data on COVID-19 vaccinations. Recent developments:

  • it has become apparent that many workers in the Aged Care and Disability sectors, classified as priority 1a to receive vaccinations, have not received them. The federal government should have ensured they received vaccinations. Today the Victorian state government announced that any workers in private sector aged/disability care have priority in a 5 day vaccination blitz at a number of Victorian vaccination hubs. 
  • The Pfizer is now the preferred vaccine for anyone under 60 years of age - however anyone over the age of 18 may request an AstraZeneca vaccine with informed consent.
  • any Victorian over the age of 60 became eligible to book in to receive the first dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine
  • Victorians between the ages of 40 and 49 can book in to receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Advice to HSRs - Consultation 

As noted above, all businesses which are operating in metropolitan Melbourne must have a COVIDSafe or a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan in place.  Remember, your employer has a duty to consult with HSRs under s35 of the Act, including when developing and implementing the COVIDSafe plan. HSRs should also be consulted by the employer on the nomination of workers to be invited to register for a vaccine. Contact your union or the OHS Team at Trades Hall if you have any questions. WorkSafe has recently released a new video on Consultation - specifically in relation to making workplaces COVID-safe. 

More information

WorkSafe Victoria has a page of information specifically for employees which is regularly updated and has links to relevant DHHS information.