Premier Daniel Andrews has urged Victorians to “stay at home” this weekend after another three people died of COVID-19 in the state.
- Health Minister says COVID-19 being detected in regional aged care facilities is a “concern”
- Lower number than yesterday is a “relief” but still a high figure, Chief Health Officer says
- Clusters linked to hospitals and a JBS abattoir have also grown
The death of a woman in her 90s, a woman in her 80s and a man in his 80s takes the state’s coronavirus death toll to 35.
Victoria has also recorded 217 new coronavirus infections, nearly half the number of yesterday’s single-day record of 428 cases.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said today’s lower figure was a “relief” after two record-breaking days in Victoria but warned the number was still high.
“Two-hundred-and-seventeen is much better than a number above 400, but it is a number that would have shocked us all a month ago,” he said.
“It will contribute to the number of active cases, and again, there will be a number of people hidden in this number today who will require hospitalisation or intensive care in days to come.”
Of today’s new cases, 205 were under investigation, 11 were linked to known outbreaks and one was in quarantine.
Mr Andrews said this was, “not an ordinary weekend” and urged people to stay at home.
“Whether you are in Broadmeadows or Brighton, ‘stay-at-home’ means ‘stay-at-home’,” he said.
The Premier said about a third of the residents in the last locked-down social housing tower in North Melbourne will need to continue self isolating after the hard lockdown ends at 11:59pm tonight.
“We will continue to provide groceries, perishable food, cooked meals we will continue to provide all the basics that those residents need,” he said.
Nine public housing towers across Melbourne were placed under hard lockdown two weeks ago, however the Government moved all except for 33 Alfred Street onto the looser stage-three restrictions last Thursday.
Mr Andrews said tower residents who still needed to self-isolate had either tested positive or were close contacts of somebody who has.
Coronavirus latest: Follow all the latest information in our COVID-19 live blog
New cases in aged care centres and other clusters
The outbreak linked to Al-Taqwa College in Truganina, Victoria’s largest coronavirus cluster, is now linked to 164 infections.
There are now a total of 23 cases linked to the Glendale Aged Care facility in Werribee, 13 linked to Estia Health Aged Care in Heidelberg and nine linked to the St Basil’s aged care facility in Fawkner.
Brett Sutton said it was a relief to see case numbers lower after yesterday’s jump of 428.
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said the Government was “concerned” about the number of cases linked to aged care facilities in Victoria, including two new cases in regional areas.
She said the Bethlehem aged care facility in Bendigo, the Bill Crawford Lodge in Ballarat and Bupa Aged Care Edithvale, in Melbourne’s south-east had recorded positive cases.
She said it was understood a single staff member at each of the Bendigo and Ballarat facilities had contracted the virus.
“[Having positive cases in regional aged care facilities now] highlights the fact that all Victorians need to be vigilant about this highly contagious virus,” she said.
Victoria has conducted more than 1 million tests since the pandemic began.(ABC News: Andrew Altree-Williams)
Other clusters that have grown include the Northern Hospital outbreak, which is now linked to 21 infections, and the outbreak at Warringal Private Hospital in Heidelberg, which is now linked to three cases.
There are also a total of 33 cases linked to the JBS abattoir outbreak and five linked to Clever Kids Child Care & Kindergarten in Ashburton.
There has been a slight decrease in the number of hospitalised patients since yesterday, with 110 patients in hospital compared to 122 yesterday.
Read more about coronavirus:
There are 25 patients in intensive care, which Professor Sutton said was “fortunately” a decrease of six since yesterday.
Eighteen patients remain on ventilators, a decrease of four since yesterday.
Professor Sutton said an additional 11 healthcare workers have contracted the virus, bringing the total to 405.
Ms Mikakos said the Governmentwas expanding its testing sites across the state, including in regional Victoria.
What you need to know about coronavirus: