The Victorian Government has ordered the City of Ballarat to go back into lockdown from tonight over concerns COVID-19 is more widespread in the community than positive cases indicate.
The City today has four new positive cases, but it is wastewater detections and multiple exposure sites that have the Victorian Government concerned.
“There are a growing number of signals in Ballarat that are of real concern to our public health officials, of particular concern are the multiple waste-water detections in the Ballarat area that are not accounted for by the current positive cases,” the Victorian Government said.
“Those detections have been identified across the city.”
As such, from 11.59pm tonight the City of Ballarat will have the same restrictions (except for the curfew) in place as metropolitan Melbourne. The lockdown is expected to last for seven days until 11.59pm on Wednesday 22 September.
Meanwhile, the regional hub of Shepparton will exit lockdown from 11.59pm, with settings being downgraded to match the rest of regional Victoria.
“We know this will be disappointing for the Ballarat community, but we’d rather get on top of these cases, open up again as quickly as possible, than let cases get out of control in the area,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“It’s so important that people in these LGAs continue to check for exposure sites near them, get tested if they have any symptoms at all and most important – get vaccinated if you haven’t already.”
In total, Victoria reported 423 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 today, while two people have died from the virus.
Updated at 2.08pm AEST on 15 September 2021.
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