THERE are now four (4) people in South Gippsland who have tested positive to the coronavirus.

The data was in the regional breakdown released by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) this afternoon, Tuesday, April 7.

Cases by Local Government Areas (LGAs) locally are as follows:

Casey 45, Cardinia 11, Wellington (Sale) 8, Latrobe 6, Baw Baw 5, South Gippsland 4, Bass Coast 2, East Gippsland 1.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Victoria is 1191 – an increase of 33 from yesterday.

Yesterday a woman in her 80s died in hospital, taking the number of people who have died in Victoria from coronavirus to 11, as new measures come into force from tonight to further slow the spread.

The total number of cases includes 623 men and 568 women. Cases range in age from babies to their early nineties.

Community transmission

There are 93 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria that may have been acquired through community transmission.

More than 58,000 tests have been conducted to date.

Currently 47 people are in hospital – including 13 patients in intensive care – and 686 people have recovered. Of the total 1191 cases, there have been 966 in Melbourne and 217 in regional Victoria.

A number of cases remain under investigation.

New COVID-19 rules

New measures come into force at midnight tonight (April 7) to further slow the spread of coronavirus in Victoria.

These new directions have been authorised by the Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton, and are consistent with recent decisions made by National Cabinet.

“It’s important that we have the right measures in place to slow the spread of this virus and protect the most vulnerable in our community,” Professor Sutton said.

“We know these restrictions will be hard for some people, but everyone needs to comply with the measures to the best of their abilities to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

“There is no doubt about it – physical distancing will save lives. I urge people not to look for loopholes, but to follow the advice and do the right thing.” “Our message is clear: if you can stay home, you must stay home.”

Changes to the restricted activities include:

Livestreaming of religious services is possible, however the services can only be attended by those people necessary to conduct and livestream the service.

Introduction of a truck stop provision exclusively for long haul drivers who can dine in a dedicated section, as long as the physical distancing four square metre rule is observed.

The Chief Health Officer has also amended current stay at home directions to provide further clarity about childcare arrangements.

“To be clear, you can have another person come to your house to look after your child if you need to go out for one of the four listed reasons, or if you are working or studying at home.

“You may also drop your child at another person’s house to be looked after, while you are out – if it is for one of the four listed reasons. There are only four reasons for Victorians to leave their home: food and supplies, medical care and care giving, exercise, and work or education.

“Once again, the community is urged to consider whether an activity is truly necessary at this time. Restrictions on visitors to hospitals have now also been expanded to cover residential care facilities for disability services, alcohol and drug services and secure welfare services. You must not enter a care facility unless you are a resident, staff member or are visiting a resident of the facility, and even then, only in limited circumstances. Visits will be limited to one per day, for a maximum of two hours and with no more than two people at one time.”

The Department of Health and Human Services follows up and monitors all close contacts of confirmed cases and provides them with information and support. All close contacts must self-isolate for 14 days. All people arriving from any international destination must also self-isolate for 14 days as per Commonwealth Government direction.

All travellers returning from overseas to Victoria will be placed in enforced quarantine for the self-isolation period of 14 days. Police have strong powers to enforce these directions and can issue on the spot fines, including up to $1652 for individuals and up to $9913 for businesses.

Under the State of Emergency people who don’t comply could also be taken to court and receive a fine of up to $20,000. Companies face fines of up to $100,000.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has a hotline for public information on COVID-19, which is 1800 675 398. Large numbers of calls can result in some delays and we ask Victorians for their patience as we work to manage the volume. Further information is also available at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus