With up to 1,500 police officers deployed to assist in quarantine hotels and at the Victoria/New South Wales border, Victoria Police said its resources were being stretched and some services will have to be reduced.
- Only one new case of COVID-19 was identified in hotel quarantine
- Victoria Police have had to suspend some operations in police stations due to the strain on resources
- Up to 1,500 officers have been deployed to the border and hotel quarantinee
The announcement comes as Victoria recorded one new coronavirus case in hotel quarantine, as the streak of local “zero days” continues.
Victoria Police is suspending or closing some operations at some stations, such as counters service, while officers are performing other services.
The police force could not say how many stations were being affected and suggested members of the public use the Police Assistance line where possible.
Wayne Gatt, the secretary of the Victoria Police Association, said “significant” numbers of officers had been moved to other duties and it was inevitable there would be an impact.
“We know, for example, members of highway patrols have been severely limited in their capacity to undertake business as usual,” Mr Gatt said.
“We understand some of our crime scene and some of our crime investigation units have been reduced in their capacity to investigate crime.”
He said the frontline officers left behind for general duties were, as a result, under significant pressure.
Having a front counter service to help members of the public at police stations was an important and essential role, Mr Gatt said.
“The community needs somewhere to go when they’re in crisis,” he said.
“Indeed many serious offences, many victims in need of support to police station counters all the time.”
Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said only front desk services were being restricted.
“Every police station is open and there to serve the community,” she said.
“There’s no change in that at all.”
Australian Open case reclassified
Today is the 18th consecutive day Victoria has recorded no new locally acquired infections.
The Department of Health and Human Services received 11,901 coronavirus test results in the 24 hours to midnight yesterday.
There are now 30 active cases in Victoria, a decrease of three from yesterday.
Ms D’Ambrosio said the new case in hotel quarantine is an overseas traveller who is not associated with the Australian Open tennis tournament.
Yesterday, COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV) said three people linked to the tennis had tested positive for the highly virulent UK strain of the virus — the first time it has been linked to the grand slam.
One of the previously reported positive cases in the tennis quarantine program had been reclassified, CQV said.
The total number of active cases has been revised down by one to 10.
There was no information given about whether that case involved an official or player.
Victorian authorities previously said some positive test results had been under investigation as possible cases of shedding, as opposed to active infection.
People who have had coronavirus can often shed non-infectious remnants of the virus for weeks after they have recovered.