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Sarah's Soundbite: October

Across Victoria there is anticipation around reunions with family, friends and the activities we enjoy, with the COVID-19 vaccination rate rapidly closing in on 80 per cent and the state reopening.

Helpdesk Top 5: September

Read answers to top up your knowledge on COVID-19 vaccinations and other timely topics. Got a question on your mind? NDS members can ask the Helpdesk.

VIC News update: Changes to secondary contacts, Mildura in lockdown

man wearing surgical mask in city. Text reads COVID-19 news update


What you need to know

  • Secondary close contacts no longer required to quarantine
  • Mildura enters seven-day lockdown
  • Restrictions lifted in Shepparton and Moorabool Shire
  • State vaccination centres offer Moderna and Pfizer to everyone

Secondary close contacts

The Victorian government has amended requirements for secondary close contacts, with implications for the furloughing of disability staff.

COVID-19 contact tracers are no longer collecting details of secondary close contacts in interviews with primary close contacts. As a result, disability providers do not need to furlough staff who are secondary close contacts unless they have COVID-19 symptoms. If they have symptoms, they must get tested and isolate until receiving a negative result before returning to work.

Secondary contact includes people who live in the same house as a primary close contact.

Primary close contacts must:

  • Quarantine from other household members as much as possible
  • Get tested immediately if symptoms develop.

There may be some circumstances where you will be contacted directly with advice by the Department or a public health unit, or via your primary close contact.

Changes to areas in lockdown

The Victorian Government announced late on Friday that the Mildura Rural City Council area would enter a seven-day snap lockdown from 12am Saturday, 9 October.

The same restrictions as metropolitan Melbourne apply, with the exception of a curfew.

Mitchell Shire in regional Victoria is also in lockdown. Restrictions have been lifted in the City of Greater Shepparton and Moorabool Shire.

Fact sheets are available for community and non-residential disability services, as well as community services covered by the Care Facilities Directions. The fact sheets are dated 12 September and continue to apply.

COVID Safe Plans

At last Friday's COVID-19 Prevention, Vaccines and Outbreak Management Community of Practice, WorkSafe indicated they are planning inspections to disability services to assess COVID-19 preparedness.

WorkSafe will be looking for:

  • PPE compliance, such as fit testing and checking of N59 masks
  • Staff PPE training
  • Workplace COVIDSafe Plan
  • Emergency Management Plan
  • Vaccination status record
  • Systems to protect unvaccinated workers

Providers are encouraged to access the resources in the NDS COVID-19 Hub to assist in preparing for an inspection, including the Business Continuity and Infection Prevention and Control toolkits and to watch the COVIDSafe Plan Principles NDS video.


All Victorian vaccination centres will offer Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to everyone aged 12 and over from Monday 11 October. This includes people aged 60 and over, who will be offered Moderna, Pfizer and Astra Zeneca at the state-run hubs.

Detailed information can be found online about the state-run vaccination centres in Victoria, including where there are pop-ups, drive-through clinics, onsite Auslan interpreters, walk-in appointments, and vaccination centres with enhanced accessibility.

To book a vaccination, arrange an online vaccination appointment or call the booking hotline on 1800 675 398. Or alternatively, check the Vaccine Clinic Finder. There is also an online pharmacy COVID vaccination booking service. Commonwealth vaccination clinics for people with a disability and disability workers are listed on the Australian Department of Health website and updated regularly.

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Contact information

For any enquiries, please contact Sarah Fordyce, State Manager Victoria, submit enquiry/feedback, show phone number