Plans for a return to face-to-face learning in schools for Term 4 are underway.
The Victorian Government is undertaking ventilation assessments at schools, testing airflow in classrooms to reduce the spread of the airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus.
It's all part of the plan to get students back for Term 4, and "potentially sooner" in regional Victoria, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.
"An enormous amount of work is going on at the moment so we can be ready to announce detailed plans and a detailed roadmap in relation to what Term 4 looks like and what we believe will be safe," Mr Andrews said.
"That will happen as soon as it possibly can.
"There will come a time around Term 4 and potentially sooner than that in regional Victoria where schools are back in the classroom."
Outdoor learning spaces will be considered.
Mr Andrews said authorities would look at deploying rapid antigen testing to help students return to the classroom.
He said a small-scale pilot program for a vaccine passport could be done in regional Victoria, with a test of linking QR codes to vaccination status for people accessing hospitality services
Victoria will call in allied heath workers with an aim to expand the vaccine roll-out in the hope the federal government will shortly boost the supply of vaccines.
Australia has struck a deal with the United Kingdom for four million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the agreement would mean the number of Pfizer doses arriving in Australia during September would double.
The extra vaccines will be distributed to states and territories based on population. Earlier in the week, Australia clinched a swap deal with Singapore for 500,000 Pfizer doses to be repaid in December. Last month, Poland agreed to send one million doses to Australia.
Victoria recorded 208 new locally acquired coronavirus cases on Friday, the first time cases have tipped above 200 in more than a year, and another death.
The spike in case numbers reported on Friday comes after 3000 people were swabbed as part of day 13 testing in Shepparton on Thursday.
The health department said "sadly, one person with COVID-19 has died" but released no further information. The toll from the current outbreak is now three fatalities.
Only 96 of the 208 cases have been linked to known outbreaks, leaving 112 potential mystery cases, after 48,572 people were tested for the virus.
Hundreds of oral and allied health professionals and students have been given the green light to administer COVID-19 vaccines as the state ramps up its rollout.
Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed dentists, dental hygienists, physiotherapists, speech pathologists and podiatrists, as well as students enrolled in courses such as nursing, midwifery, paramedicine and pharmacy will be trained to prepare and administer the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.
But the premier hailed the prime minster announcement about a boost of supplies to the troubled supply of vaccines, particularly the Pfizer vaccine.
"If what's reported pans out, that's fantastic news for all of us," he said
"We are expanding and we will train up a bigger and broader health workforce to administer vaccines," Mr Andrews said.
"It's essentially everybody who can do this safely needs to be part of that team as we grow and expand the total amount of vaccination that is we do. With expanded hours, with many more appointments being offered over time. Again, a lot of this is subject to supply."
But Mr Andrews also flagged that however good the future supply was, he cautioned against waiting when 50,000 appointments for AstraZeneca were available right now.
The emergency workforce will be able to assist at state-run hubs, as well as GPs and pharmacies under the supervision of an experienced immuniser.
"As the Commonwealth's vaccination program opens to more Victorians, it is critical that there is a trained and available workforce to continue to provide vaccinations to those eligible," a Victorian government spokeswoman said.
"The vaccination program is our ticket out of this pandemic - it will save lives and keep Victorians safe."
One new case was reported in hotel quarantine, and 33,511 vaccine doses were administered at state-run hubs.
Friday is the first day for playgrounds to be reopened in the state for children aged 12 and under, with rules including QR code check-ins and mask-wearing for the one person allowed to supervise play sessions.
The state's exposure sites have risen to more than 1000, including a fertility clinic located in the same building as the Victorian Parliament's press gallery.
Health Minister Martin Foley said on Thursday Burnet Institute research suggested Victoria's current lockdown had avoided a further 6000 cases in the past month, but now was the time to pivot.
"You've got to follow the advice of the science. Delta has changed the script," he said.
To aid Victoria's quest to ramp up vaccinations, the interval between doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been halved to six weeks.
Two thirds of Victorians aged over 70 have been double-dose vaccinated and over half of Victorians between 40 and 70 have received one dose.
Vaccinations in young people are also rising rapidly, Victorian COVID-19 coordinator Jeroen Weimar said.
COVID-19 infections are expected to rise in Victoria, with 112 of today's 208 cases unlinked.
Those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 will have more freedoms when Victoria opens, the Premier has announced.
Vaccine passports are tipped to become a part of daily life once Victoria reaches the threshold of 80 per cent of the community with a double dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as laid out in the national plan.
"What will I think become a bigger part of the response is a lock out of many, many venues for those who are not vaccinated," Mr Andrews said.
"Now that might seem a bit harsh, but I've said this before and I'll make the point again that I'm not going to lock the whole state down to protect people who won't protect themselves.
"Yes, there is some supply issues with vaccine at the moment, but that by the time we get to 70 and 80 per cent everybody who wants to be vaccinated I think will have been given an opportunity to do so.
"So I think if you're not vaccinated and you could be, then the chances of you booking a ticket at a sporting event, going to a pub, going to all manner of different places will be very limited."
Victorians aged 18 and over have been urged to take up the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as children over 12 take priority for the Pfizer jab.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews warned "it's a very long wait" for the Pfizer vaccine.
"Don't get in the queue if you're over 60, don't get in a queue that includes [people] right down to 12-year-olds.
"That's going to be a very long way, and we don't have time to wait. We need to get as many doses into as many arms as possible."
There are 50,000 available appointments available over the next three weeks.
Victoria has now administered 2.5 million vaccine doses, 589,282 of which have been completed in the last three weeks.
The state is on track to deliver its goal of one million vaccines in five weeks, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.
"We are still a number of days awayt from being at that milestone of 70 per cent single doses," Mr Andrews said.
"Every vaccine that's administered today and every person who makes an appointment with a sense of urgency brings us closer to 70 per cent.
There were 14,170 AstraZenenca appointments made on a single day yesterday. Of those 29,707 were aged 18-29.
"We've already got 2.6 million AstraZeneca doses into arms, the Premier said.
"It's safe, it works and it's available right now."
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