LOCKDOWN 5.0 has been extended into a second week, keeping Loddon residents at home.
The extension to 11.59pm next Tuesday was confirmed on Tuesday by Premier Daniel Andrews.
His announcement followed a weekend of increasing COVID case numbers and exposure sites, including along the Calder Highway.
At least one confirmed case stopped at Ravenswood, near Bendigo, and in Wycheproof on a return trip to Mildura, the Loddon dodging a potential COVID exposure site.
Maps released by the Health Department show case primary close contacts and red zone permit holders in the Loddon Shire. Contacts must quarantine for at least 14 days.
The shire’s director community wellbeing Wendy Gladman said council had not requested testing in Loddon towns “but we are continuing to monitor the situation in relation to exposure sites and potential impact on Loddon communities”.
The latest lockdown forced the abandonment of weekend sport. Active Farmers’ Run for Resilience, within 24 hours of the lockdown, announced it would reschedule to October.
In Boort, the third attempt to hold the local hospital’s 2020 debutante ball on Friday night was thwarted.
“We missed by one day,” said organiser Roslyn Lanyon after the debs and their partners had decorated the hall and the food was ready to serve, “They are very disappointed but these kids are pretty resilient,” Roslyn said.
She said 200 people had booked to attend the ball and was hopeful a fourth attempt could be made before the girls, studying Year 12, entered assessment and examination periods.
“They were so excited ... appointments made for their hair and makeup, the boys had hired their suits.”
Roslyn also paid tribute to Marj Potter, grandmother of one of the partners, who had single-handedly raised $1200 for the hospital selling raffle tickets in Godfrey Street in the weeks leading up to last Friday.
The listing of nearby Tier 1 exposure sites Sunday night has heightened vigilance in Loddon communities.
Lockdown 5.0 requires people to stay at home apart from shopping for necessary goods and services (one person per household, once per day, a support person can accompany if required), caregiving or compassionate reasons, work or study if unable to do from home, exercise up to two hours, with one other person or members of your household or to receive a vaccination.
However, cars towing caravans and boats were seen heading south on the Loddon Valley and Calder Highways throughout the weekend.