13 Oct 2021

Victoria announces record Covid-19 death toll

2:13 pm on 13 October 2021

The Australian state of Victoria has recorded 1571 new cases and 13 deaths - the highest single-day death toll of the current outbreak.

People walk their dogs in Melbourne on 30 September 2021 as the city grapples with a surge in Covid-19 infections.

Photo: AFP

It comes as the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne announced will introduce mandatory rapid Covid-19 testing for visitors after a virus scare at the hospital's neo-natal ICU.

The deaths include five people from the City of Whittlesea area, and individuals from the Darebin, Moonee Valley, Brimbank, Banyule, Moreland, Stonington, and Nillumbik local government areas.

Those who died were aged from their 50s to their 90s.

The new cases were identified from 79,200 test results received yesterday, and 38,072 doses of vaccine were administered at state-run sites.

There are now 19,861 active cases of the virus in Victoria and 114 lives have been lost in the current outbreak.

The rapid testing precaution at the RCH came after a parent attended the neo-natal ICU on Friday and later tested positive to the virus, informing the hospital on Monday night.

There were 29 infants in the unit at the time of the exposure, and all have been tested.

No babies have tested positive, but all are being monitored and will be tested again.

The hospital's chief executive, Bernadette McDonald, said no staff have had to isolate, as all were wearing full protective clothing.

McDonald said the rapid testing regime would begin at the hospital this week.

"As the numbers in the community have increased, we are increasing our protection and rapid antigen testing trials have been done in other facilities and now we get to take that on as well," she said.

"It is a very challenging circumstance to find the balance between allowing mums and dads to come and see their children and spend time with their children … and trying to manage to keep everyone safe from Covid-19."

The move follows a trial of rapid testing at Royal Melbourne Hospital, and the state government's announcement that it would buy more than 2 million rapid tests for Victoria's health system.

The rapid antigen tests take less than 20 minutes to return a result.

The state government may reveal details as early as this week about the next phase of eased restrictions when Victoria hits its vaccination targets.

More than 60 per cent of people aged over 16 are now fully vaccinated, and close to 90 per cent of eligible Victorians have received at least one dose of vaccine.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the state was on track to reach the 70 per cent fully-vaccinated target sooner than planned, allowing some restrictions to be eased.

"It isn't a flick the switch and you go from 100 per cent shut to 100 per cent open, it's a gradual thing but there is the issue of giving people notice and we've got to work through some of these issues," he said.

The Premier said some hospitality operators had been pushing for a "dark opening", allowing them to prepare their venues before opening to the public.

The Victorian opposition is pushing for the government to reopen gyms when the state reaches the 70 per cent fully vaccinated target.

Under the government's roadmap, indoor gyms will reopen when the state reaches the 80 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated.

"Safely reopening gyms will bring back thousands of jobs and support Victoria's recovery out of Covid-19," Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said.

The opposition is proposing a plan to reopen gyms with a density limited of one person per four square metres, and group classes of up to 20 people.

Health Minister Martin Foley announced the Mitchell Shire, north of Melbourne, will come out of lockdown and into line with regional Victorian restrictions from 11:59pm.

"The Mitchell Shire vaccination rates have really taken off over the last few weeks, and that's an outstanding effort by those communities," he said.

Foley also announced a number of neighbourhood vaccination pop-ups would be established over the coming weeks at cafes, gyms, and shopping strips.

New South Wales

NSW has recorded 444 new cases and four deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm yesterday.

The state now has 90.8 per cent of its population aged 16 or over vaccinated with one dose, with 75.2 per cent fully inoculated.

A significant number of lockdown restrictions were eased for fully vaccinated people on Monday, after 70 per cent of people aged over 16 received two doses.

Restrictions will be relaxed again the Monday after NSW reaches 80 per cent double-dose coverage.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 09: NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet speaks to the media during a COVID-19 press conference on September 9, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.

Premier Dominic Perrottet Photo: 2021 Getty Images

Yesterday, Premier Dominic Perrottet said that could happen as early as this weekend.

Perrottet said the government's Covid and Economic Recovery Committee - which was previously known as Crisis Cabinet - would meet tomorrow to discuss easing restrictions next week.

"The success of our vaccination rate has been absolutely superb and we've asked everybody across our state to make that effort and we hit 80 per cent," the Premier said.

"We've always said it'll be the Monday following. We will have this discussion with our team on Thursday, and we'll make a decision probably that night and to be announced on Friday in relation to that.

"I want to see New South Wales opened as quickly as possible, but ultimately, it needs to be as safely as possible."

Of the deaths, three people were in their 70s, and one person was in their 60s.

Two people were not vaccinated and two people were fully vaccinated.

One of the fully vaccinated people was a man in his 60s with underlying health conditions who died at Nepean Hospital.

The other was a woman in her 70s with underlying health conditions who died at the Allity Beechwood Aged Care Facility in Revesby in Sydney's south-west, where she acquired her infection.

This was the seventh death linked to an outbreak at the centre.

An unvaccinated man in his 70s from south-western Sydney died at home and tested positive for Covid-19 after his death.

NSW Health said a confirmed case was onboard Qantas flight QA509 from Brisbane to Sydney on Saturday, October 9.


The ACT has recorded 51 new cases, as Canberrans count down the days until the end of lockdown.

Of the new cases, at least 22 spent some of their infectious period in the community. 13 were in quarantine for their entire infectious period.

Of the total cases, 32 are linked to a known source.

There are currently 16 Covid-19 patients in hospital - eight are in the intensive care unit, five requiring ventilation.

There are currently 474 active cases in the ACT.

More than 73 per cent of eligible Canberrans are fully vaccinated against the virus, with health authorities expecting the territory to reach the 99 per cent milestone by the end of November.

ACT Health said 98.5 per cent of those aged 12 and over had now received a first dose.

The ACT's lockdown is due to end at 11.59pm on Thursday, with new details about the pathway forward released yesterday by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

The new details outlined what will be possible from Friday, including allowing up to five people to gather in another household.

Licensed venues will be able to have 25 customers across their venues, or one person per four square metres - whichever is less.

Hairdressers, swimming pools and non-essential retail will be permitted to reopen at limited capacity.