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Covid: protests, testing and mental health calls

Arrests and fines have resulted from a number of anti-lockdown protests in Gippsland.

Police have issued fines of around $5,500 to nine people who gathered on parkland at the Port of Sale, in contravention of the state's stay-at-home regulations.

And four people were arrested in Bairnsdale, and seven fines were issued, when a group defied Police outside the Shire Council offices.

There have been no new Covid cases in the Traralgon area after a positive case was identified in the town on Sunday.

Around 1500 people have lined up for testing at two pop-up sites over the last three days. Testing will be conducted at the Traralgon Recreation Reserve today between 9am and 12 noon.

No new exposure sites have been identified beyond those already publicised.

MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS, BELOW

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Premier Daniel Andrews is preparing to present a plan to allow Victorians some small freedoms within case number thresholds, despite high case numbers.

Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said a plan is vital, on the back of a report to the State Government highlighting the increasing mental health crisis.

“A damning report to Government this week showed we are seeing a massive increase in hospital admissions from our youth for mental health reasons. There is also an increasing number of business people in great stress with the prospect of having to shut the doors.

“The worst thing is, people need a plan and we don’t have one. NSW has announced a staged return to school from October 25, with all students returning by November 8.

“The report showed more than 340 teenagers a week have been admitted to hospital suffering mental health emergencies in Victoria. The six-week average is a 57 per cent increase on the corresponding period last year.

“It also revealed an average of 156 teens a week are rushed to hospital after self-harming and suffering suicidal thoughts, an 88 per cent increase on last year,” said Mr Bull.

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