Victoria records 55 COVID-19 cases, new restrictions not ruled out
VICTORIA is facing its biggest battle since the state’s second wave, having recorded 55 new local COVID-19 cases, 30 of which have been in the community while infectious.
Premier Daniel Andrews described today (Friday, August 20) as a “bad day”.
He said government ministers and the public health team would meet this afternoon to determine whether restrictions will need to be tightened further.
“It’s not just delicate, it’s not a tipping point, we are right on the edge of this getting away from us,” he told reporters.
“It’s not because contact tracing are not doing everything they can, they are, it’s not because we didn’t lock down fast enough, we did.
“It’s this Delta variant, it’s so wildly infectious it will find every breach of every rule and it will potentially spread because of that.”
He urged Melburnians to abide by lockdown restrictions, which include five reasons to leave home, a five-kilometre travel limit for exercise and shopping, a 9pm to 5am curfew and mandatory masks both indoors and outdoors.
Last week saw a spate of breaches including an organised takeaway pub crawl in Richmond and an engagement party in Caulfield North attended by 69 guests.
“We cannot have a weekend this weekend like last weekend, we must all follow these rules and find it within ourselves to push through this,” Mr Andrews said.
“I know it’s incredibly difficult, but so is having thousands of people in hospital, and that’s what we are faced with. That is what we will all confront.”
The health department on Friday confirmed 49 of the locally-acquired cases are linked to known outbreaks, while 25 were self-isolating throughout their infectious period.
Six cases cannot be linked to known outbreaks, which is of great concern to authorities.
Two overseas-acquired cases were also detected in hotel quarantine, taking the total number of infections recorded in the state to 57 for the second day in a row.
It’s expected some of the 55 new infections are the result of day-13 testing of some 2000 people who have been self-isolating after coming into contact with a positive case.
Among the new infections is a police officer based at Knox station in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs and a resident of the regional city of Shepparton, about 200km north of Melbourne.