Most Victorians not self-isolating when required says Andrews

July 22, 2020 BY

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. Photo: FILE

A RECORD four-hundred and eighty-four cases of COVID-19 were identified in Victoria in the past 24 hours, and Premier Daniel Andrews has revealed most Victorians were not self-isolating when waiting for a test or when they were sick.

Today’s figure exceeds the previous highest total recorded in an Australian state or territory in a single day, which Victoria set on Friday last week with 428 cases.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Mr Andrews said 90 per cent of Victorians “did not isolate between when they first felt sick and when they went to get a test” in the past three weeks.

While he did not announce any further changes to Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions, he did say the, “Key factor here that’s driving the numbers and driving our challenge is people that are sick but not getting tested.

“The only thing you can do when you feel sick, the one and only thing that you can and must do when you feel sick, is to go and get tested. Nothing else is acceptable,” he said.

“You must go and get tested when you feel sick. That is the only thing that you can and must do. And if people don’t do that, then we will continue to see numbers increase.”

Mr Andrews also said more than half, or 53 per cent, of people who were tested for coronavirus in the past three weeks did not isolate until they received the result of the test.

“Fifty-three percent of people continuing to go shopping, continuing to go to work, continuing to do all sorts of things even though they’ve got symptoms, they feel sick, sick enough to get a test, and then, somehow, not willing to stay at home and wait, on average, a couple of days, and sometimes sooner, to get the results of that test.”

Melbourne is in the middle of a stage three lockdown for six weeks, with the wearing of face masks mandatory, but Mr Andrews said he was prepared to tighten the restrictions further.

“Unless we drive down the time between first illness, first sense of symptoms, in other words, how quickly people then get tested, unless we make that much faster than it is now, and people isolate in that intervening period, and unless we have people who get tested staying at home and isolating until they get their results, then we will not see these numbers come down,” Mr Andrews said.

“They will continue to go up and up. And a six-week shutdown will not be for six weeks. It will run for much longer than that.”

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