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Victorian Premier’s warning as state records 55 new COVID-19 cases

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Daniel Andrews says health authorities may look at further restrictions after the state recorded 55 new local COVID-19 cases.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says health authorities may look at further restrictions after the state recorded 55 new local COVID-19 cases, with only 25 of those in isolation for the entire time they were infectious.

Of the new infections, 49 were linked to known outbreaks and six were mystery cases.

Victorian officials have also confirmed the state's outbreak has spread to the regions, with seven cases emerging in the regional city of Shepparton.

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St Kilda COVID testing hub in Melbourne.https://twitter.com/MaggieRaworth/status/1428578418199724035

Mr Andrews said the new numbers were "a very significant challenge".

"This is very, very serious. Very serious indeed," he said.

He said authorities were considering whether further restrictions could be put in place in an effort to avoid "becoming like Sydney".

"This will get away from us. We've got too many mystery cases out there," he said.

Mr Andrews said he had no doubt there were unknown COVID-19 cases in the community, with some people choosing not to get tested.

"There's always more cases out there than you know about," he said.

"Not everyone gets tested."

The Premier urged people to comply with restrictions ahead of the weekend.

"We all have to work as hard as we can," he said.

"If we have a weekend this weekend like last weekend ... it will be like Sydney. Simple as that.

"Rules are only as good as the behaviour and choices that each of us make. I can't be any clearer."

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He said the time for police issuing warnings to lockdown rulebreakers was over.

"People know the rules. We know it's tiresome. It hurts. It's painful. We wish it was over. It's not," Mr Andrews said.

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The Premier slammed the suggestion that Victoria could live without COVID-19 restrictions.

"There's no living with this," he said.

"The notion that we can just let it all run, I've really got to say, it is so unhelpful.

"If you don't have these restrictions it will run wild until enough people are vaccinated."

Shepparton case in isolation

A man in his 30s is among seven new positive cases of COVID-19 in the regional Victorian city of Shepparton.

Goulburn Valley Health said the man was isolating and his close contacts would be contacted.

COVID-19 Response Commander Jeroen Weimar said his family was being tested this morning.

The man's case is linked to St Mel's Primary School, with Mr Weimar confirming the school had been closed for deep cleaning.

Shepparton is almost 200km north of Melbourne. It is the first time during the state's outbreak that a case has been diagnosed in regional Victoria.

Mr Andrews said a regional lockdown was not out of the question following the positive case.

"Nothing is ruled out - nothing," he said.

Victoria's COVID-19 case breakdown

The breakdown of Victoria's 55 new local COVID-19 cases is as follows:

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Mr Weimar said the positive case in Pakenham was a Victoria Police member who had worked in the Knox and Lilydale areas.

Mr Weimar did not know how many police were being forced to isolate as a result, with the case having emerged late yesterday.

"VicPol have strong workforce arrangements so we're confident we can identify that quickly today," he said.

Premier urges people to 'turn up and get that jab'

Mr Andrews urged Victorians to continue to get the AstraZeneca vaccine after the Prime Minister announced people aged 16-39 would now be eligible for Pfizer from August 30.

"I'm saying to people for heaven's sake don't cancel an appointment you've made now off the promise that something will be available in two weeks' time."

Mr Andrews said he had not seen evidence that Pfizer would be available but said AstraZeneca was ready now.

"You can't make a booking for this stuff. I haven't seen it," he said.

"The best vaccine is the vaccine you can get now."

READ MORE: Melbourne becomes one of most locked down places in the world

People in St Kilda, Melbourne, waiting to get tested.

Testing numbers high

A total of 48,273 Victorians were tested for coronavirus yesterday, while 28,601 were vaccinated.

Fifteen people are in hospital with COVID-19 in the state, including six in intensive care.

Residents across Melbourne are continuing to turn out in droves for testing.

Large numbers of people are turning out at a COVID-19 pop-up clinic in St Kilda this morning.

Crowds had been lining up ahead of opening times, waiting for their turn to be tested after a number of mystery cases put the area on high alert.

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The clinic, next to the Palais Theatre and Luna Park, saw a huge turnout yesterday as the community answered the call to come forward.

Victoria recorded 57 new local infections on Thursday, up from 24 the previous day.

Yesterday also marked Melbourne's 200th day in lockdown.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-victoria-update-55-new-local-cases-6-mystery-infections-august-20/bf1efbbe-4594-4d91-811f-565d9162e421

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