Victoria’s COVID-19 hospitalisations rise to 1,229 as state records six more deaths

Victoria’s COVID-19 hospitalisations have risen to 1,229, up from 1,114 reported on Sunday, and the state has recorded a further six deaths

Of the patients in hospital, there are 129 in intensive care, 38 of whom are receiving ventilation.

There are now at least 245,040 active cases in the state.

Six more deaths takes the toll since the pandemic began to 1,700.

It comes as the Victorian government begins distributing rapid antigen tests (RATs) to workers in sensitive settings like health and aged care, and to people with pre-existing conditions.

Yesterday, a major delivery of 3 million tests arrived from a bulk order of 44 million.

More tests are expected in the coming month, with some to be delivered to multicultural and multi-faith community organisations. 

The delivery is expected to ease pressure on the state’s PCR testing system, which has been inundated by the surge of Omicron cases.

Health officials have urged Victorians to use RATs for COVID diagnoses, but nationwide shortages have made finding the kits at pharmacies and supermarkets extremely difficult. 

Free rapid tests have been offered in Victoria at PCR testing sites over the past month, and the latest delivery is expected to further support the state’s self-reporting strategy.

They will remain available at a price in retail outlets.

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The state has officially recorded 22,429 new COVID-19 infections. The true number of new cases in the community could be much higher as a result of immense pressure on overwhelmed testing networks.

The new cases were reported from 12,059 PCR results and 10,370 at-home rapid antigen tests.

About 24 per cent of Victorian adults have received three doses of a vaccine so far.

Teachers’ union pushes for safer classrooms

The Australian Education Union has warned that better testing and better ventilation needs to be put in place to ensure classrooms are safe, as Victorian students prepare to return to school at the end of the month.

Some states like Queensland have decided to delay the start of the school year to allow more kids to get vaccinated amid rising Omicron infections.

But Education Minister James Merlino said Victoria planned to start on schedule.

Jeff Gray from the Education Union said he hoped new measures were put in place before the beginning of the school term.

“We we want our staff to be confident that they’re going into a safe and healthy workplace, and that as much as possible, what could be reasonably done is being done before school starts again,” Mr Gray said.

Last year, the Victorian government began installing air purifiers in classrooms in an effort to reduce transmission and the rollout will continue in term one.

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The symptoms

  • The number of cases in Australia
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