ALMOST all of the rise in coronavirus cases in regional areas is coming from close contacts with people from Melbourne – either them visiting us or locals picking up the virus on trips to town.
That was the commentary provided by the State’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton at Friday’s COVID-19 update with the Premier Daniel Andrews today.
Speaking about a “significant increase” in the number of “mystery” cases, or those of unknown origin, he said about 20 per cent of positive tests in Melbourne were mystery cases and about 13 per cent in regional areas.
“That’s a lower number but because we’re tracking them, we know that the vast majority of regional cases are the result of travel to Melbourne.”
He said the 13 per cent unknown figure also indicated there was unchecked community transmission in regional areas, underscoring the need to wear masks, to adopt social distancing and vigorous hand cleaning and sanitising surfaces, while observing the Stage Three restrictions.
Overall though, in Friday’s update, the Premier Daniel Andrews said regional numbers had dipped slightly from 512 active cases a few days ago to 492 on Friday.
He noted a worrying rise in numbers in Greater Geelong, up to 167, Bendigo up to 56 and Ballarat up to 25, noting that a greater testing effort was being rolled out in those areas.
It left the Mayor of Latrobe City Cr Dan Clancy to call for an increase in testing facilities in his municipality too where numbers have risen to 29 active cases of a cumulative total of 44.
Gippsland recorded its first fatality overnight on Thursday, a former resident of Bupa Aged Care in Traralgon.
There are presently 43 active cases in Gippsland as follows: Latrobe 44/29, Baw Baw 13/6, Wellington 13/0, South Gippsland 12/4, Bass Coast 10/3, East Gippsland 3/1.
COVID-19 update Friday, August 14
Victoria has recorded 372 new cases of coronavirus since yesterday, with the total number of cases now at 16,234. The overall total has increased by 371 due to one case being reclassified.
Within Victoria, 87 of the new cases are linked to outbreaks or complex cases and 285 are under investigation.
There have been 14 new deaths from COVID-19 reported since yesterday: One man in his 20s, three women and two men in their 80s and four women and four men in their 90s.
Twelve of the 14 new deaths are linked to known outbreaks in aged care facilities. To date, 289 people have died from coronavirus in Victoria.
In Victoria at the current time:
* 3119 cases may indicate community transmission
* 7877 cases are currently active in Victoria
* 659 cases of coronavirus are in hospital, including 41 in intensive care
* 7842 people have recovered from the virus
* More than 1,914,400 tests have been processed – an increase of 18,908 since yesterday
Of the total cases:
* 14,897 cases are from metropolitan Melbourne, while 984 are from regional Victoria
* Total cases include 7805 men and 8365 women
* Total number of healthcare workers: 2208 active cases: 1188
* There are 2034 active cases relating to aged care facilities
Active aged care outbreaks with the highest cumulative case numbers are as follows:
* 203 cases have been linked to Epping Gardens Aged Care in Epping
* 187 cases have been linked to St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner
* 154 cases have been linked to Estia Aged Care Facility in Ardeer
* 130 cases have been linked to Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes in Kilsyth
* 123 cases have been linked to BaptCare Wyndham Lodge Community in Werribee
* 108 cases have been linked to Outlook Gardens Aged Care Facility in Dandenong North
* 101 cases have been linked to Estia Aged Care Facility in Heidelberg
* 91 cases have been linked to Twin Parks Aged Care in Reservoir
* 90 cases have been linked to Arcare Aged Care Facility in Craigieburn
* 83 cases have been linked to Glendale Aged Care Facility in Werribee
In Victoria there are currently 87 active cases in residential disability accommodation.
* Total Resident cases: 21; Total Staff cases: 66
* Active cases in NDIS homes: 62 (18 residents)
* Active cases in ‘transfer’ homes (State regulated/funded*): 24 (3 residents)
* Active cases in state government delivered and funded homes: 1
Cases currently linked to key outbreaks are as follows:
* 203 cases have been linked to Bertocchi Smallgoods in Thomastown
* 83 cases have been linked to Australian Lamb Company in Colac
* 61 cases have been linked to the Woolworths Distribution Centre in Mulgrave
* 48 cases have been linked to Golden Farms Poultry in Breakwater
* 26 cases have been linked to Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm in Bendigo