Victoria’s acting Health Minister James Merlino has just finished providing his update.
Joined by the deputy secretary for Victoria’s COVID-19 response Naomi Bromley, he stressed the importance of citizens doing their best to stay safe as the state is experiencing the hardest time dealing with the increase in hospitalisations.
Victoria is dealing with major ambulance delays as COVID cases and hospitalisations increase, along with new infections.
Victoria recorded 37,994 new positive test results on Tuesday, with 18,503 of those coming from rapid antigen tests (RATs) and 19,491 from PCR tests.
Sadly, there were 13 more COVID-related deaths.
At the same time, there have been changes made to isolation rules as the state’s supply chain is also being hit hard, leaving stores with empty shelves and no staff.
To ensure Victorians have access to essential food supplies, workers in the manufacturing, distribution, and retail supermarket might be exempted from close contact isolation requirements to attend work only if they are asymptomatic and undertake daily RATs for five days.
Returning a negative RAT prior to attending work will be a prerequisite and they will not be able to enter shared break areas.
State Prime Minister Daniel Andrews urged people to get their third dose vaccinations and boosters, aknowledging the frustration of vaccinated people who are still having to isolate.
“If we were to stop isolating people, if we were to stop testing … we would finish up with not hundreds of people on general wards, we’ll finish up with thousands,” he said.
“I know it’s deeply inconvenient, I know it’s frustrating to be double dose or triple dose vaccinated and having to isolate at home … you’re playing such a big part in keeping us safe and making sure that our health system, whilst under enormous pressure, can still cope.”
Meanwhile, Ambulance Victoria warned there would be delays in services reaching people in the city and asking for triple-0 to be reserved for emergencies.
“Ambulance Victoria is experiencing an extremely high demand for ambulances in the metropolitan region,” the statement said.
“Our priority is to provide care to Victorians who require life-saving assistance.”