Mitchell Shire went back into lockdown last night for a projected seven days after seven new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the municipality on Sunday, and one new case on Monday.
As of this afternoon there were 23 active cases and eight tier-two exposure sites; one in Broadford, two in Kilmore, one in Seymour and four in Wallan.
To check the locations and times visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/case-alerts-public-exposure-sites.
People who were at any of these locations at the time of exposure must get tested immediately and self-isolate until a negative result is returned.
Mitchell Shire is now one of four regional areas under the same lockdown restrictions as metropolitan Melbourne, joining the City of Ballarat, City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire.
The five reasons to leave home are back, with the addition of outdoor social interaction of up to four hours a day in groups of five fully vaccinated adults plus dependents, or two adults regardless of vaccination status.
Shopping, exercise and outdoor social interaction are limited to 10km from home. Masks are mandatory indoors and outdoors – and there are still no home visitors allowed.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said she understood another lockdown announced on Sunday afternoon wasn’t ideal, but that council would provide help through its dedicated community services to people who called 5734 6200.
“Once again, we are being asked to band together and follow the public health advice for seven days,” she said.
“Our community has shown great strength and resilience over the past 18 months – and together we have collectively done what needed to be done.”
Mitchell Shire council is now urging residents to get tested immediately and vaccinated at the earliest possibility, to bring its relatively low vaccination rate up.
On Sunday Premier Daniel Andrews also revealed Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdowns, which is based on the state meeting 70 and 80 per cent double dose vaccination coverage.
According to the latest data from September 13, 64.2 per cent of Mitchell residents had received a first dose, and 39.7 were fully vaccinated.
As of today the state has reached 72 per cent first dose and 43.9 per cent second dose.
“While it is not an ideal situation to be in, we now have a Victorian roadmap we can all work towards, so let’s take the next step by receiving a vaccination,” Cr Sanderson said.
“It is great to see so many people already roll up their sleeves, however let’s get those numbers even higher.”
“If you are eligible to be vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to do so.”
To book a vaccine appointment, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine, or call your local GP or pharmacy.
*This story was updated at 4pm Monday, after this week’s newspaper went to print, to include one new case that was confirmed for the Mitchell Shire today. The number of active cases in the shire is now 23.