More Victorians have died of Covid as the state’s virus crisis worsens. This comes at a time when the wardens are demanding additional assistance from the defense force.
Victoria has announced a new spike in the spread of Covid, with 1,220 new local cases and three deaths.
There are currently 11,785 active cases across the state, after more than 71,000 people were tested for Covid on Saturday.
The state’s vaccination rate is 81.5 percent for a first dose and 51.5 percent for a double dose.
It comes as Ambulance Victoria is in talks with the Australian Defense Force, the CFA and Chevra Hatzolah – the Jewish Community First Responders Association – for ambulance drivers and additional support staff. Epidemic pressure is taking place on the Victorian Health Network.
It comes as Victoria on Saturday recorded 1,488 new local infections, bringing the total number of active cases across the state to 11,591.
The Sunday Herald Sun understands Ambulance Victoria has also called on at least one hospital, The Royal Melbourne, to accept Covid patients within 20 minutes of the ambulance’s arrival, to reduce the risk of paramedics being exposed to the virus in an enclosed space.
This approach also allows more ambulances for emergencies.
As Delta cases began to rise, retired health professionals in Victoria heed the call to join the “surge workforce”.
The data released shows that 6,970 medical professionals have come to work in the hospital system for up to 12 months as part of the pandemic response.
Ambulance crews in St. John’s also began working the first weekend with qualified paramedics on the front line.
Another 55 staff will begin training soon in an effort to help alleviate staffing shortages and provide support to paramedics and hospital staff.
A spokesperson for Ambulance Victoria said it had “recently re-established partnerships with a number of other agencies that may be able to support paramedics in an emergency setting if needed”.
“While paramedics are always responsible for patient care, other agencies may be able to support paramedics at the scene and drive our vehicles.
“We are grateful for the support of St John Ambulance and other partner agencies to assist Ambulance Victoria in managing and responding to any demands that may arise as the pandemic continues.”
To alleviate additional non-Covid stresses, Ambulance Victoria has also launched a new Medium Intensity Transportation Service (MATS), backed by 22 vehicles and 165 staff to provide care for Code 2 and 3 patients.
MATS Non-Urgent Call Crews are dedicated to freeing ambulances to respond to the most critical situations – this is in addition to the 114 graduate paramedics who have recently joined Ambulance Victoria, as well as about 40 student assistants in their final year of study who support ambulance crews in hospitals.
On October 1, there were 395 cases of Covid-19 in Victorian hospitals. Of those cases, 87 are in intensive care, with 59 patients on a ventilator.
Students getting ready to go back to school
Victorian students are happy to be back in class in Term 4 after several weeks of distance learning.
Beginning Monday, October 4, regional preparation students will return to their second year and students studying final year subjects to the semester full-time.
Monday also falls on Melbourne Day Setting a bleak world record for the epidemic.
More than a million students in Victoria have lost nearly 160 days of face-to-face learning since the start of the pandemic.
Janine Mahne, of Lara, whose three children attend St. Anthony’s Catholic Primary School, said her children were “very excited” to go back to school.
“The kids really miss their school routine, their friends and teachers, they are really happy to be back,” she said.
“We are delighted that we now have a plan to get all of our students back to on-site learning,” said St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School Principal.
“We know that students learn best in school with their teachers and friends,” she said.
“This will also be a huge boost to their well-being.
“The safety of our students and staff remains our top priority and we continue to follow the advice of the Department of Health regarding a COVID-safe school environment.”
Swinging jerky locks on gyms
The fitness industry has wracked six grueling closures, and gyms are often the last indoor venue to reopen.
Doherty’s Gym owner Tony Doherty said the impact of having almost zero income for 18 months has been “huge”.
“Closing them is costing us thousands of dollars a week,” he said.
“There has been some government financial aid, but it’s nowhere near what we usually do.”
Doherty said it was hard to see the deteriorating mental health of his members.
“People don’t just go to gyms for the physical component,” he said.
“I think 90 percent of my members come to the gym to take care of their mental health.
“For some people, it’s all they have to look forward to – it ties their lives together.”
Doherty recently set up a cafe in front of his gymnasium in Brunswick to bring in some form of revenue during the lockdown.
“I set up a sliding window in the gym to start serving coffee and shakes to people passing by,” he said.
Of course we will not reach our normal income but it is better than nothing.
“It’s nice to have some kind of employee turnover – without that you’re vulnerable.”
Mr Doherty said it was “unbelievable” to see the friendly faces of its members.
“We only opened our doors for two weeks, and it was incredible to see the support of the members,” he said.