Date issued: 27 October 2023
Issued by: Dr Christian McGrath, Acting Chief Health Officer
Issued to: Health services, health professionals and the Victorian community
- Community transmission of COVID-19 is increasing across Victoria.
- This is an expected part of the ongoing evolution of COVID-19 in the community, as our immunity from both infection and vaccination wanes with time and COVID-19 continues to circulate.
- These increases do not appear to be linked to a single new variant.
- During this time, it is especially important that those at greatest risk of severe consequences of COVID-19 are supported to reduce their risk – this includes people aged 65 and above, with a disability or chronic medical condition and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- The best way to prevent those you love from getting infected is to protect yourself. If you don’t get COVID-19, you can’t spread COVID-19.
- These six steps can help you stay ahead of COVID-19:
- Wear a mask: a high-quality and well-fitted mask can protect you and others from the virus.
- Get vaccinated: stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccine. ATAGI has recently recommended an additional booster vaccination for adults over 75 years of age. Vaccines are available at your GP or local pharmacy.
- Let fresh air in: open windows and doors when you can – it reduces the spread of the virus.
- Get tested: if you have symptoms, take a rapid antigen test (RAT). Free RATs are available at your local council.
- Stay at home: if you have COVID-19, you should stay at home for at least five days and until you have no symptoms. Speak to your GP if symptoms worsen.
- Talk to your doctor: if you are at risk of falling very sick, you may be eligible for COVID-19 antiviral medicines. You must take these within 5 days of developing symptoms
- You should not visit high-risk people if unwell or have symptoms.
- Health services and other settings where the risk of COVID-19 transmission and impact is particularly significant are recommended to take actions based on local risk assessment and as outlined in updated COVID-19 guidance.
- The Department of Health will continue to monitor surveillance indicators and keep the public informed of when COVID-19 transmission returns to a low level of activity.
- Read the full alert: Increase in COVID-19 cases