Department of Health
This Chief Health Officer update is intended to provide clinicians and the Victorian public with information about the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria as well as relevant public health response activities. Chief Health Officer Alerts will continue to be issued when there are changes to the public health advice related to COVID-19.

26/11/2021

What’s new:

Victoria was notified of 1,362 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. All cases were locally acquired.

There are 10,887 active cases in Victoria. The total number of confirmed cases in Victoria since the beginning of the pandemic is 117,544.

Sadly, the Department was notified yesterday of seven deaths of people aged in their 70s, 80s and 90s.

The 10 Local Government areas with the highest number of new cases are Hume, Casey, Kingston, Wyndham, Brimbank, Whittlesea, Darebin, Glen Eira, Melbourne and Melton.

Domestic border permits ceased

The Acting Chief Health Officer has declared that from 6pm last night, the domestic travel permit system has ended.

This new direction has abolished the traffic light border scheme and has come into effect as Victoria hit its 90 per cent double dose vaccination target.

More information can be found at Domestic border permits to end.

Reminder

From today, Friday 26 November, the following workers (and volunteers and students on placement) who are leaving home for work are required to show evidence to their employer that they are fully vaccinated:

  • Accommodation workers
  • Agriculture and forestry workers
  • Airport workers
  • Ancillary, support and welfare workers
  • Authorised officers
  • Care workers
  • Community workers
  • Creative arts workers
  • Custodial workers
  • Emergency service workers
  • Entertainment and function workers
  • Funeral workers
  • Higher education workers
  • Justice service centre workers
  • Marriage celebrants
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Meat and seafood processing workers
  • Media and film production workers
  • Mining workers
  • Physical recreation workers
  • Ports and freight workers
  • Professional sports, high-performance sports or racing person
  • Professional services workers
  • Public sector employees
  • Real estate workers
  • Religious workers
  • Repair and maintenance workers
  • Retail workers (including workers at food & drink facilities; licenced premises)
  • Science and technology workers
  • Social and community service workers
  • Transport workers
  • Utilities and urban workers
  • Veterinary and pet/animal care workers

These requirements already apply to the following workers:

  • Workers in residential aged care facilities
  • Workers at construction sites

The requirements will apply to the following workers from November 29:

  • Workers at school, childcare and early education services (plus outside school hours care services)

The requirements will apply to the following workers from 15 December:

  • Workers in healthcare settings

For more information, including a description of workers in each category, visit Information for Industry and Workers required to be vaccinated.

Face masks

From 6pm last night, workers and visitors are required to wear a mask indoors at healthcare settings such as community health centres (including mental health, child and maternity, and drug and alcohol counselling services centres), general practices, COVID-19 related healthcare sites (including testing, vaccination and hotel quarantine facilities), health clinics (including medical specialist and allied health clinics), diagnostic and medical imaging centres, mobile health services or blood donation centres.

You must always carry a face mask with you when you leave home, except in certain limited circumstances. It is strongly recommended you wear one whenever you cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from others.

There are additional settings where wearing a face mask is required, visit When to wear a face mask for more information.

Vaccines

Yesterday, 4,815 vaccine doses were administered by Victoria’s state-commissioned services. The total number of doses administered through state-run services is 4,833,836.

93.7 per cent of Victorians aged 12 and over have now had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 90.2 per cent have had two doses. This excludes the most recent Commonwealth data.

Victorians are encouraged to book their COVID-19 vaccination through their local GP or community pharmacy, community health service or state vaccination centre. To find a GP or pharmacy provider and make a booking, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Testing

73,419 COVID-19 tests were processed yesterday. The total number of tests performed in Victoria since the pandemic began is 14,921,427.

Advice for household contacts of a primary close contact

Information is available online for people who are household contacts of a primary close contact.

View more at What to do if you are a close contact.

General advice

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath and loss or change in sense of smell or taste. If you are experiencing symptoms, wear a fitted face mask when you get tested.

The Department publishes expected wait times at testing sites as well as updated information about locations and hours of operation at Where to get tested.

For more information call the 24-hour Coronavirus Hotline at 1800 675 398 or visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria.

Current advice to clinicians

Notifications to the department of a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 can be done online. You can submit an online form to our public health team, rather than calling us, saving you time and resolving your case load more efficiently.

COVID-19 testing criteria

Practitioners should test any patients who meet the clinical criteria below:

  • Fever OR chills in the absence of an alternative diagnosis that explains the clinical presentation* OR
  • Acute respiratory infection (e.g., cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, or loss or changes in sense of smell or taste)
  • Note: testing is also recommended for people with new onset of other clinical symptoms consistent with COVID-19** AND who are from the following cohorts: close contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19; those who have returned from overseas in the past 14 days; or those who are healthcare or aged care workers. Testing is recommended for those cohorts with onset of other clinical symptoms**. Asymptomatic testing is not recommended at this stage except for targeted programs.
  • *Clinical discretion applies including consideration of the potential for co-infection (e.g. concurrent infection with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza)
  • **headache, myalgia, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea.

Clinical information

Online resources

Mental health resources

  • Many Victorians are feeling fatigued, isolated or lonely. If you need support for your mental health there are mental health resources you can access.
  • If Victorians are not safe at home, they can seek help and support at an Orange Door or other family violence support service. If you or someone you know is at risk or experiencing family violence, call 000 in an emergency or Safe Steps 24/7 crisis service on 1800 015 188.
  • The Partners in Wellbeing helpline (1300 375 330) is able to provide phone support to any Victorian who has been impacted by COVID-19 aged 16 and up, including from people who identify as LGBTIQA+, multicultural, Veterans, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people and international students. This free and confidential service also provides specialist support for small businesses which includes business advisory and financial counselling.

Consumer information

Contacts

Medical practitioners needing clinical information or to notify confirmed cases can contact the Department of Health Communicable Diseases Section on 1300 651 160 (24 hours).

Subscribe now

Keep informed of emergencies affecting the health sector and critical public health issues impacting your work by subscribing to the Chief Health Officer Updates and follow the Victorian Chief Health Officer on Twitter.

Reviewed 26 November 2021

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