Australia

A man in his 20s has died in Victoria after contracting COVID-19

The last time the state recorded a death in someone that young was during last year’s second wave, when another man in his 20s died.

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Victoria recorded 445 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the latest reporting period, with 129 linked to known outbreaks.

Almost three quarters, or 74 per cent, of the new cases are from Melbourne’s northern suburbs, including 175 from Hume, 64 from Moreland and 36 from Whittlesea.

The new infections bring the total number of active cases in the state to 3,799.

In the 24 hours to Tuesday morning, 42,694 tests were processed and 36,615 Victorians received a vaccine dose at state-run hubs.

Deputy Premier James Merlino has also announced $22 million in additional mental health support for the state, including about $13 million to deliver 20 pop-up community mental health services in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

About 90 dedicated clinicians will provide 93,000 additional hours of wellbeing checks and counselling to Victorians needing support, he said.

A hotline number and a dedicated website will also be created, with another $4 million to provide additional care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

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Meanwhile, a Melbourne school at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak will be questioned amid claims it was operating at full capacity despite tough lockdown restrictions.

Authorities are investigating the outbreak at Fitzroy Community School after 29 students and staff contracted the virus, with 82 close contacts identified.

Only children of permitted workers and those who are vulnerable are allowed to attend school in Melbourne, but the school of 60 students had been inviting all parents to send their kids to class.

The school, which describes itself as an “independent, alternative primary school”, has been closed for deep cleaning.

Eighty-nine per cent of the 157 people fighting COVID-19 in hospital are unvaccinated, while 11 per cent had received one dose.

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