People with disabilities and chronic health conditions will be tested at home, Victorian Health Minister, Jenny Mikakos has announced.
“We are starting a call-to-test program that will enable someone to call our coronavirus hotline,” Minister Mikakos said today.
“They will be able to get tested within a 48-hour period. It is a free service and will be available throughout Victoria.
“The way that people will be able to access this is through the coronavirus hotline. There’ll be a triage there, and with a GP referral, we will come to you.”
She said the new arrangements meant those with chronic illness or disability would no longer need to find transport to COVID-19 testing clinics, while response teams will also now attend workplaces and other locations where outbreaks had occurred to test people on site.
COVID-19 case numbers in Victoria dropped overnight – down to 322 cases from the more than 700-plus cases the state has received in more recent days.
However, the number of deaths has not abated, with 19 new fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.
“There are 640 Victorians in hospital, 47 of those are in intensive care and 31 of those 47 are on a ventilator,” Andrews said. “There are 1,065 healthcare workers who are active cases,” said Premier, Daniel Andrews.
Mr Andrews today also launched a new advertising campaign about the impact of COVID-19 on young people.
The campaign encourages young people to follow health restrictions and shows actual coronavirus survivors speaking about their experiences.
“Dealing with COVID has been nothing like I have ever experienced before,” one young mum-of-two states in the ad.
“It started off generally with the flu-like symptoms. I was debilitated with chest pains. I was inflamed to the point I wasn’t able to fully inflate my lungs or exhale without excruciating pain. It feels like coronavirus has attacked every single one of my body’s systems.
“Four weeks into my journey with COVID I still feel like I’m incapacitated and can’t care for myself. I have two little boys and I decided to isolate away from them. They’re with their dad half the time and they’re with my parents. Being separated from them for five or six weeks now has been incredibly hard.”
The ad ends with the woman imploring Victorians to not break the state’s COVID rules, “think about who you love most in the world and think of them in ICU”.