IT took nearly four months, but the Kingston municipality is once again free of COVID-19.
The last time there were no active COVID-19 cases in the area was on 22 June. The second wave hit shortly afterwards, with total active cases in Kingston peaking at more than 100 in mid-August.
The second wave of the virus hit the Bupa Edithvale nursing home hard, with 17 residents sadly dying after testing positive.
On 17 October, the Department of Health and Human Services reported that the number of active recorded COVID-19 cases in Kingston had finally reached zero once again.
The good news came one day before Premier Daniel Andrews announced that numerous coronavirus restrictions would be relaxed statewide.
The 5 kilometer radius for leaving home has now been extended to 25 kilometers, and there is no time limit on how long you can be out of your home for an essential reason.
People can now gather outside in groups of 10, from a maximum of two households. Outdoor tennis courts, golf courses, and skateparks have also reopened.
Hairdressers are also allowed to reopen.
From 2 November, hospitality and retail services will be allowed to open their doors once more, albeit with limited capacity. From that date, households will also be allowed to host a maximum of two guests and their dependent children once per day.
Mr Andrews said that those restrictions could be lifted sooner if case numbers remained low throughout this week. “If we continue to track well on the most important indicators, case averages, mystery cases, test numbers and the number of days people wait before they get tested, we may be in a position to move sooner,” he said.
Mordialloc MP Tim Richardson celebrated Kingston’s coronavirus milestone with his Facebook followers. “For the first time since June we have no active cases,” he said. “This is an almighty effort and achievement for our community. It is because of each and every one of our residents, that we are here today.
“We had 4,827 Kingston residents get tested in the past fortnight. This is just awesome. Our average every two weeks is over 4,500 consistently and this is the best way for us to know if the virus is knocking around in our community. We need to keep getting tested if we have even mild symptoms, but I cannot thank you all enough.”