Victoria has reported 374 new diagnoses of COVID-19 overnight as the state’s death toll rises to 42. Three women in their 100s, 90s and 80s succumbed to the virus last night.
Of the 374 new cases, 62 are connected to known outbreaks and 312 are under investigation. There are currently 3,078 active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria
Premier Daniel Andrews gave a shout out to the 1000s of people across the state who came forward for testing yesterday.
“We conducted 29 464 tests yesterday. I want to thank those almost 30,000 Victorians for coming forward. That gives us the information we need to isolate and quarantine.”
Similarly, the premier applauded all those Victorians who have taken up the call to wear face masks or face coverings ahead of the mandatory ruling taking effect on Wednesday.
“It is heartening to see so many people embedding masks or face coverings as a part of their daily routine,” he said.
While the premier admits he would like to see the state’s new diagnoses stabilise he remains grateful that “we aren’t seeing the doubling and doubling again” [of cases].
“What that says to me is that the sorts of measures we have put in place are having a direct impact.”
He stressed even with mask-wearing and stay at home orders it was vital to follow all the rules.
“Wash our hands regularly, observe cough etiquette. If we get a test result or have close contact with someone who has a test result – you need to moderate your way you interact in the community”
The premier thanked all the Victorians who are “doing the right thing”.
“They are making sacrifices, large and small to see us through and to get beyond this second wave.”
He had a word of warning for those still flouting COVID-restrictions, saying the police were out in force
“Victoria Police are out there and they’re not mucking about. They will fine you and not only is it not particularly smart to be breaking the rules, flouting the rules, ignoring the rules, it’s also just not the right thing to do.”
The premier said in order to support those who may face hardships should they be forced to self isolate the government had introduced a one-off $1500 payment.
“If complying with those public health rules would mean you were out of pocket because you didn’t have access to sick leave or you’re a casual or things of that nature, then there is that direct support, he said.
“We don’t want anyone having to make that choice — between supporting their family, and working to protect every other family. That’s a wicked position to find yourself in.”
Meanwhile. Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton said although there is an inconsistency in case numbers there was good news to report with many Melbourne suburbs showing a downturn in cases.
The CMO hoped the new mandatory face-covering rule would also contribute to a lessening in community transmission.
“There’s a mixed bag of good and bad news with different postcodes and different settings across Victoria, but I hope that mask wearing as a universal setting will make a really significant difference in the transmission risk,” Professor Sutton said.
Sutton said he was heartened by the progress made in the past few weeks.
“There has been some levelling in the last four or five days.”
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