Thousands to be released from quarantine as Victoria records 1,965 COVID cases, five deaths

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ABC Reports: Victorian health authorities are changing the rules around secondary close contacts and releasing thousands from quarantine after the state reported a record 1,965 new COVID cases and five deaths.

A woman in her 90s and a man in his 70s, both from Moreland, a man in his 60s from Banyule, a man from his 60s from Hobsons Bay and a man in his 50s from Hume died.

It brings the total number of active cases in the state to 17,199 and the total death toll for the current outbreak to 80.

There are 578 people currently in hospital with COVID-19, including 117 in ICU and 83 on a ventilator.

The City of Mildura was thrust into a seven-day lockdown at 11:59pm yesterday in response to a concerning spike in cases including 20 new infections in today’s numbers.

The decision was announced on Friday evening based on new data and health authorities said there was no other option available to them.

“If there was any inconvenience caused by our late notice, we do apologise for that,” the Victorian Health Department’s deputy secretary Kate Matson said.

“But we will never apologise for taking the right public health actions to protect Victoria and Victoria’s community.”

Two additional testing facilities have been opened in Mildura this weekend.

Meanwhile, Greater Shepparton and Moorabool Shire have left their week-long lockdowns, with public health officials “confident that both the lockdown — and the commitment of the community — have slowed potential growth”.