Victoria records 12 new coronavirus cases and one death as Daniel Andrews scraps plans to ease Melbourne’s lockdown today
- Victoria has reported 12 new COVID-19 cases and one death overnight
- Stage Four restrictions will also stay in place in Melbourne next weekend
- Authorities had hoped to reopen businesses and the city on October 19
- Though the two-week rolling daily case average target has not been met
Victoria has recorded 12 new coronavirus cases and one death overnight with Stage Four restrictions in Melbourne to remain in place next weekend.
Health authorities on Sunday released the latest statistics which takes Victoria’s death count from the virus to 810 and the national toll to 898.
In the fortnight up to Saturday metropolitan Melbourne recorded a rolling average of 9.3 new cases per day, with the figure at 0.4 for regional areas.
Public health authorities decided weeks ago that the two-week rolling daily case average needed to drop to five, with less than five mystery cases, for lockdowns in the city to ease in line with regional Victoria.
Stage Four restrictions were flagged to be fully lifted by October 19 though those plans have now been scrapped.
Though Premier Daniel Andrews promised on Saturday there will still be some rollbacks.
The 5 kilometre travel limit and dining at outdoor restaurants are some of the restrictions that will be put under review and potentially lifted.
Victoria has recorded 12 new coronavirus cases and one death overnight with Stage Four restrictions in Melbourne to remain in place next weekend (pictured, a COVID-19 pop-up clinic set up at Kilmore Soldiers Memorial Hall)
Public health authorities decided weeks ago that the two-week rolling daily case average needed to drop to five, with less than five mystery cases, for lockdowns in the city to ease in line with regional Victoria (pictured, Melbourne residents enjoy the sun at St Kilda beach)
Premier Daniel Andrews on Saturday (pictured) called on Melbourne residents to remain hopeful and stay the course on restrictions, saying some rules may ease on that date, even if less significantly than hoped
Mr Andrews called on Melbourne residents to remain hopeful and stay the course on restrictions, saying some rules may ease on that date, even if less significantly than hoped.
‘We always want these numbers lower, faster,’ he said.
‘We will beat this second wave, but we’ve got to do it properly.’
Mr Andrews said he didn’t think the state would be able to ‘move as far and as fast as we had planned to next Sunday, but there will be movement, it will be significant.’
‘I know it is frustrating that I cannot give you a complete list of all the things that we propose to change in one weeks’ time, but that is not the nature of this virus,’ he said.
‘We have to get the most complete picture, so we have to get as many days of data as we can.
‘We are making decisions on the best available evidence and advice that will allow us to keep moving forward rather than risking giving back everything that we have done.’
Mr Andrews reassured residents strict restrictions would not remain in place for the long term and would be eased considerably by November.
‘We will not have these sorts of restrictions well into November.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton was upbeat on Saturday (pictured) about the possibility of eradicating community transmission from the state
Melbourne residents are yearning for more freedom to leave their homes, to hold public gatherings of up to 10 people and for hospitality and retail business to increase trading
Several COVID-19 outbreaks have ended a downward trend in infections, meaning the next step out of restrictions will not go ahead on October 19 as hoped (pictured, medical professionals stationed at the Kilmore Soldiers Memorial Hall COVID-19 pop-up clinic)
‘Will there be rules in November? Absolutely, there will be. They will be safe and they will be as broad or as limited as they possibly can be.
‘Based on that whole notion of trying to be as proportional as possible. Highest gain for the lowest public health risk.’
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton was upbeat on Saturday about the possibility of eradicating community transmission from the state.
‘It’s all of the immediate responses to clusters, and if you can get on top of each of those and wrap the public health response around each and every one of those, then you end those chains of transmission and they’re gone forever,’ he said.
Prof Sutton said a cluster linked to Box Hill Hospital had grown to 10 with five new cases from one family.
A Kilmore cafe cluster has grown to six on Saturday but the Chadstone Shopping Centre outbreak, to which it is linked, recorded no new cases.
A nurse performs a COVID-19 test on a driver at a Chadstone Shopping Centre pop-up clinic
Saturday’s media briefing was the premier’s 100th consecutive daily update on the pandemic.
The premier was again peppered with questions during the Saturday press conference about releasing his phone records relating to March 27, to potentially clear up who made the decision to hire private security guards for hotel quarantine.
He brushed off questions as usual, saying it was job of the hotel quarantine inquiry to make findings on the matter.
Opposition leader Michael O’Brien said there was no reason why the state couldn’t open safely and sooner if it copied New South Wales’ strategy.
He said the five-case average required was an ‘arbitrary’ number.