Department of Health

Coronavirus update – 18 January 2022


COVID-19 Data

There are 1,152 COVID-19 cases in hospital in Victoria – with 93 active cases in ICU, including 43 on a ventilator, and 34 cleared cases in ICU.

5,319,710 vaccine doses have been administered by Victoria’s state-commissioned services, with 20,562 administered yesterday at state-run centres. 5,211 of these doses were for children between ages 5 and 11.

24.8 per cent of Victorians aged 18 and over have had three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. 93.2 per cent of Victorians aged 12 and over have had two doses.

Victoria was notified of 20,180 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This includes:

  • 11,747 who tested positive on a Rapid Antigen Test and who reported their result
  • 8,433 who returned a positive result on a PCR test

Of those who reported a positive result on a Rapid Antigen Test yesterday:

  • Approximately 62 per cent were from tests undertaken yesterday, 17 January.
  • Approximately 16 per cent were from tests undertaken 16 January.
  • With the remainder from tests undertaken over the previous five days.

Sadly, the Department was notified yesterday of 22 deaths of people aged in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. This brings the total number of deaths in Victoria since the pandemic began to 1,718. Of today’s reported deaths, 11 were recorded as occurring in the last two days.

There are 235,035 active cases in Victoria.

39,725 PCR tests were processed yesterday. The total number of PCR tests performed in Victoria since the pandemic began is 18,472,333.

When you test positive on a PCR test, you will be sent a message from the Department asking you to fill out a short online form. Please fill out this form, because it helps us determine your care needs.


Exemptions to isolation requirements for critical workers

A range of critical workers in emergency services, education, critical utilities, custodial facilities, transport and freight will join workers in the food distribution sector and healthcare workers as being potentially eligible for an exemption from quarantine as close contacts of people diagnosed with COVID-19.

When these exemptions are in effect at 11:59pm, information will be published at Checklist for COVID contacts.

This was announced last week. For more information, see A safe and sensible return to work for essential workers

Code Brown

Victoria has declared a Code Brown emergency for all Melbourne hospitals and six regional hospitals to mobilise additional capacity to receive an influx of patients.

With health services asking for further assistance to manage the emergency situation, the Department of Health is ensuring affected public hospitals enact their Code Brown plans by midday on Wednesday, 19 January 2022.

Changes health services can implement include configuring services to free up more staff, including the delivery of outpatient services outside the hospital, and the rapid offload of ambulance patients at emergency departments to get paramedics back on the road as soon as possible. Hospitals may also choose to redeploy staff to work in areas of highest clinical priority.

Additionally, there will be an expansion of covid streaming sites to increase the number of hospitals caring for coronavirus patients – easing the pressure at hospitals currently handling the most patients.

The Department of Health will also establish a new Health Service Response Centre which will help hospitals coordinate patient flow, distribute activity and support decisions around service reconfiguration – such as suspending some activity or moving to home-based care

 For more information see Pandemic Code Brown to support hospitals.

To access the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Victoria, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria website or call the 24-hour Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can also call the Victorian Aboriginal COVID Information Line on 1800 312 911. Callers will speak with Aboriginal staff who can answer questions about COVID-19 and direct them to relevant support services. The information line is open from 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week.

Reviewed 18 January 2022


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