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Victoria reaches 80 per cent vaccination target as daily case tally dips

sbs– Victoria has reached its 80 per cent full COVID-19 vaccination target, drawing praise from Premier Daniel Andrews as the state reported its lowest daily case number in more than a month.

A further 1,036 locally acquired infections were recorded in Victoria on Sunday, along with 12 more virus-related deaths of people aged between 50 and 90.

Their deaths take the state’s toll from the current outbreak to 305 and 1122 since the start of the pandemic.

It is the state’s lowest daily case figure since 29 September but came from 56,768 tests, more than 10,000 less than the previous day.

With 22,369 vaccine doses administered at state-run clinics, 80.4 per cent of Victoria’s 16-plus population is now fully vaccinated.

Mr Andrews has commended Victorians for reaching the target, a key marker in the state’s reopening roadmap despite restrictions easing two days earlier.

“At the start of this month only half of Victoria was fully vaccinated,” the premier wrote in a social media post.

“Thanks to Victorians coming forward in record breaking speed to get vaccinated, today we’ve reached 80 per cent.”

The next roadmap milestone will be when 90 per cent of Victorians 12 and over have received both vaccine doses, forecast on or around November 24, triggering an end to almost all COVID-19 restrictions across the state.

In more changes from Monday, fully vaccinated international travellers touching down in Victoria no longer need to quarantine and all school year levels across the state return to face-to-face learning.

It comes as trick-or-treaters are being urged to stay outdoors and keep their distance to make sure Halloween doesn’t lead to a COVID-19 nightmare.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton wants parents and children planning to go house to house collecting lollies on Sunday to stick to the rules, especially since those under 12 aren’t yet eligible for a vaccine.

It is recommended trick-or-treaters stay outside and keep their distance, homes only offer individually wrapped lollies and parents encourage kids to clean their hands with sanitiser.

Any Halloween parties in homes cannot have more than 10 visitors, in line with the state’s current gathering restrictions.

Sunday marked the first day in months without Victorian officials fronting a daily COVID-19 media briefing, with key information and statistics issued instead through a media release.

There are 702 virus patients in hospital, 45 fewer than Saturday, pushing down the seven-day average to 757. Of those, 128 are in intensive care with 80 on a ventilator.

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