Victoria records just seven new coronavirus cases and five deaths

Five people die in Victoria from coronavirus overnight with seven new cases recorded raising hopes the state will make key targets as infection rates drop – so which Melbourne restrictions will be lifted on Sunday?

  • Five people have died due to coronavirus in Victoria overnight to Wednesday
  • However, the state recorded only seven new cases after days of double-digits 
  • There are still hopes the state may hit key targets for restrictions to be lifted 
  • But Daniel Andrews has admitted the target is still a long way from reality 

Victoria has recorded another five coronavirus deaths overnight but just seven news cases, bringing the state’s 14-day average closer to the figure that will allow a widespread easing of restrictions. 

The deaths are the highest number recorded since September 29, taking the state’s death toll to 816 and the national total to 904.

While the number of deaths is concerning, new case numbers have dropped to seven, after six straight days of double figures. 

Melbourne’s rolling case average also dropped from 10 to 9.6 while the city’s mystery cases from September 28 to October 11 are up by one to 14. 

Five people have died in Victoria from COVID-19 overnight as the state recorded seven new cases (pictured, testing in Chadstone on Friday)

Five people have died in Victoria from COVID-19 overnight as the state recorded seven new cases (pictured, testing in Chadstone on October 9)

The deaths are the highest recorded since September 29, taking the state's death toll to 816 ctured: Residents walking through Melbourne's Albert Park Lane

The deaths are the highest recorded since September 29, taking the state’s death toll to 816 (pictured, residents walking through Melbourne’s Albert Park Lane on October 12)

Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday said the state’s coronavirus numbers were still too high to open up.

‘That is based on the best of public health advice. And if people find fault with that, well, that’s fine,’ he said during his daily press conference. 

‘But the public health advice to me, from a learned team of experts, is that it is too high at the moment to open.’ 

Mr Andrews has been waiting for the 14-day rolling average number of cases to get to just five before a widespread easing of restrictions. 

There was hope the state would move to step three in the road map out of lockdown, but that number has hovered around ten for metro Melbourne – before falling slightly to 9.6 on Wednesday.

He said Melburnians could expect more freedoms from October 19 but cast doubt over retaillers opening any time soon. 

Mr Andrews’ road map out of lockdown outlines that step three will come into place when there is a daily statewide average of five new cases over 14 days.

The original aim was October 26 but was brought forward to October 19 after the 14-day average fell below initial expectations. 

This has now been revamped to be a series of ‘mini-steps’ and more gradual easings as the numbers proved difficult to shift. 

In regional Victoria, the average is just 0.6.  

Meanwhile, three people have been infected in the northern Victorian town of Shepparton, prompting authorities to ask everyone in the area to get tested. 

The cases are linked to the Chadstone outbreak and there is also a positive case at Bairnsdale Secondary College in the state’s east. 

Melbourne's rolling case average also dropped from 10 to 9.6 while the city's mystery cases from September 28 to October 11 are up by one to 14.Pictured: locals are seen in the CBD on October 10

Melbourne’s rolling case average also dropped from 10 to 9.6 while the city’s mystery cases from September 28 to October 11 are up by one to 14.Pictured: locals are seen in the CBD on October 10

Health authorities have urged all 51,600 residents from the northern Victorian town of Shepparton to get tested after three locals became infected with COVID-19

Health authorities have urged all 51,600 residents from the northern Victorian town of Shepparton to get tested after three locals became infected with COVID-19

The Shepparton cases were announced late on Tuesday by the state’s Commander of Testing Jeroen Weimar and could signal the beginnings of a new cluster in the region. 

‘We have three active cases that are self-isolating at home and are being monitored by Goulburn Valley Health,’ he said in a statement. 

‘We expect as part of that effort, further cases will be discovered.

‘To everyone locally – even if you haven’t been near these locations – if you feel unwell at all, please get tested as soon as possible and stay at home until you get your results.’ 

Asking why Victorians were subject to a strict lockdown unlike their northern neighbours, Professor Sutton said the circumstances were not the same.

Residents are hoping Premier Daniel Andrews will lift restrictions on Sunday as a result of lower infections

Residents are hoping Premier Daniel Andrews will lift restrictions on Sunday as a result of lower infections

Police are seen patrolling the aisles of the Queen Victoria Market during COVID-19 in Melbourne on October 10

Police are seen patrolling the aisles of the Queen Victoria Market during COVID-19 in Melbourne on October 10

‘The differences are really profound,’ he said.

‘Through this second wave, the 20,000 cases that occurred across Victoria settled into the hardest cohorts and populations across the state.

‘The number of close contacts per household and the number of close contacts they have are hugely different.’

An opposition no-confidence motion against Premier Daniel Andrews handling of the pandemic failed in parliament on Tuesday night.

The coronavirus omnibus bill passed the upper house early on Wednesday morning.

Mr Andrews has reiterated Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown will likely be revised as he unveils some rule relaxations on Sunday. 

Professor Sutton also issued encouragement to the people of Shepparton with a tweet on Wednesday morning

Professor Sutton also issued encouragement to the people of Shepparton with a tweet on Wednesday morning

A man wearing a face mask as a preventive measure holds a mobile phone while crossing Bourke street over the weekend

A man wearing a face mask as a preventive measure holds a mobile phone while crossing Bourke street over the weekend

MELBOURNE’S ROADMAP OUT OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN – WHAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO AND WHEN:

Step one: Came into effect on September 14 

Step two: Came into effect on September 28 

Step three: When there is a daily statewide average of five new cases over the past 14 days. The original aim was for October 26, brought forward to October 19 after the 14-day average of new cases fell below initial expectations, but again put on hold after new case numbers plateaued.

This has now been revamped to be a series of ‘mini-steps’ and more gradual easings as the numbers proved difficult to shift.

Step four: The move to step four will come when there have been no new COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on November 23 

COVID Normal: After 28 days of no new COVID-19 cases, things will return to normal. 

FREEDOMS YOU GET AT EACH STEP OF EASING 

Step one – came into effect September 14 

Curfew has been eased to 9pm-5am

People can still only leave home for the four reasons (shopping, exercise, work and care or medical attention)

Public gatherings increased to two people, or a household, for a maximum of two hours

 Singles can have one nominated person to their home as part of the ‘singles social bubble’ 

Childcare and early educators to remain closed

Schools will continue to learn remotely unless they have exemptions

 Adult education to continue to be done remotely, unless they have exemption

 Only go to work if you are in a permitted industry 

– Cafes and restaurants will continue with take away only

– Retail businesses will remain open for essential shopping, with others only operating with click and collect

– Only one person per household can do the essential shopping 

Step two – came into effect September 28

 Melbourne’s curfew lifted

– Public gatherings increase again to five people from a maximum of two households

Childcare and early educators can re-open

Schools to continue with remote learning, but Prep to Grade Two and Year 11 and Year 12 students will gradually return to class in Term 4 

 There will be an increase to permitted workplaces

Step three – originally expected October 26, brought forward to October 19 

There are no restrictions on leaving home

Public gatherings increase to 10 people together outdoors

 A ‘household bubble’ will be introduced, so five people from one house can visit another 

Remote learning to continue, but Grades 3 to Year 11 can gradually return to class

– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, but hands on classes will see a phased return to onsite 

 Work from home is encouraged

– Up to 10 people can eat together at restaurants and cafes, with the majority of tables outdoor

– Retail shops to reopen, with hairdresses operating under safety measures but beauty stores to remain closed

– Real estate agents can conduct private inspections by appointment

– The one person per household limit on shopping is to be revoked 

Step four – expected in November, dependent on new case numbers:

Public gatherings to increase to 50 people outdoors

 Up to 20 visitors can attend a home at any one time

 All adult education will return to onsite with safety measures in place

– Groups limited to 20 indoors and a maximum of 50 patrons per venue

– All retail stores to reopen, while real estate agents can operate with safety measures and by keeping a record of attendants

Step five – COVID normal:

Public gatherings have no restriction

 There will also be no restriction on visitors to homes

– Phased return to onsite work for work from home workers

  Schools to reopen as normal

– Restrictions on hospitality removed, but venues to continue keeping records 

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