Victoria confirms 246 new local coronavirus cases
Victoria has confirmed 246 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as a student vaccination blitz gets underway.
Of the new cases, 156 have not been linked to known sources. It brings the total number of active cases in the state to 1786.
State health authorities processed 43,858 tests on Monday and 32,300 Victorians received a dose of a COVID vaccine at a state-run hub.
It comes as a vaccination blitz of Victorian year 12 students is set to begin, with a dedicated hotline flooded with calls on Tuesday.
The state is aiming to have all year 12 students vaccinated with at least one dose before their final exams, as part of a 10-day priority access scheme.
Pfizer bookings opened for year 12 students, teachers, exam supervisors and assessors on Monday, with a dedicated hotline fielding 30,000 calls before lunch.
By the afternoon, the health department said more than 7000 priority bookings had been made.
Health Minister Martin Foley said the system had been “hammered” because of the “wild enthusiasm” of the cohort of about 50,000 students.
COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar urged the group to remain patient, reminding year 11 students studying VCE subjects they had to wait until Wednesday to book.
Charlotte Sherlock, a year 12 student at Brunswick Secondary College, rolled up her sleeve on Monday at the newly-relocated Melbourne Museum vaccination site to promote the blitz.
“I’ve finally got it now and I don’t have to worry about having to make phone calls and wait in lines,” said the 17-year-old, who has missed more than 100 days of face-to-face learning.
Premier Daniel Andrews will this week outline a plan for Melbourne schools to reopen in Term 4, and he has also foreshadowed releasing parts of regional Victoria from lockdown.
Melbourne will remain under tough lockdown restrictions until at least 70 per cent of eligible Victorians receive their first vaccine.
The state has hit 60 per cent first dose coverage and is expected to reach the 70 per cent target by about September 19, sooner than the government anticipated.