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Victoria has recorded 29 new local COVID-19 cases, as authorities have closed three schools across Melbourne.
There were more than 43,000 tests and 22,335 vaccinations have been administered across the state.
Two schools were added to the exposure site list on Friday evening and closed for deep cleaning after two students tested positive. Warringa Park specialist school in Hoppers Crossing and Heathdale Christian College are both listed as tier-2 sites.
Another school sent an email to parents on Friday evening that health authorities are investigating a positive case who attended the college in July. All staff, students and visitors of the Islamic College of Melbourne are now considered close contacts.
Victoria this week went from zero new cases to another lockdown in just over a day, after a teacher at Al-Taqwa College in Truganina and her husband, who live in the western suburbs, tested positive.
New polling shows that most people believe there is an urgent need to give teachers access to vaccines to reduce the risk of the virus spreading in school communities.
The Australian Medical Association’s Victorian office says that, along with the vaccination of essential workers in areas of the state where there have been outbreaks, residents in areas with high COVID-19 case numbers should also be immunised.
There are fears that much of Melbourne’s north and west is under-vaccinated and at risk, while the regional centre of Bendigo has been vaccinated at a rate far ahead of the state average.
According to figures released this week, 52.6 per cent of eligible people in the Bendigo region have had one vaccination dose, far ahead of the Victorian average of 42.58 per cent and the national average of 41.4 per cent for those aged 16 and over.
The fears over low immunisation rates in parts of Melbourne come as epidemiologists advising the state and federal governments say Victorians will endure more frequent lockdowns until the end of the year because of Sydney’s worsening outbreak and the high infectiousness of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
The most recent modelling of possible outbreak scenarios predicts Victoria could spend at least one in four days under lockdown, while other scenarios predict even more frequent lockdowns will be required to contain the spread of the virus.
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With Clay Lucas, Adam Carey, Aisha Dow, Liam Mannix, Benjamin Priess, Michael Fowler and James Massola
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