Victoria records third coronavirus death in two days as 238 new cases recorded

Victoria has reported 238 cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours and one new death, taking the state’s death toll to 27.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the person who died was a woman in her 90s.

Twenty-nine of the new cases are related to known outbreaks and 209 are under investigation.

There are now 105 Victorians with COVID-19 in hospital, and 27 of those are in intensive care.

The woman’s death is the third in Victoria in two days, and follows the deaths of a man and a woman in their 80s reported yesterday.

The 238 new cases mark the fourth-highest daily increase in Victoria since the pandemic began.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent said police had checked 85,000 vehicles and issued 546 infringement notices in the past week.

He said the most common excuse given by travellers was visiting friends and overnight stays.

Three police officers at a coronavirus checkpoint on a highway.Three police officers at a coronavirus checkpoint on a highway.
Victoria has recorded 238 new cases of coronavirus overnight.(ABC News: Simon Winter)

Others who broke the rules were fined for playing poker, holding parties, drinking in the street, refusing to leave fast food restaurants and driving around playing the video game Pokemon Go.

“A couple of mates out in the car travelling around playing Pokemon doesn’t fit the reasons to leave, and those males were issued with infringement notices,” Deputy Commissioner Nugent said.

“As is visiting massage parlours or massage businesses, or undertaking sex work.”

There were 151 infringement notices issued at vehicle checkpoints.

Clusters linked to abattoir, aged care grow

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said there has been a “little bit of stabilisation” in cases but stressed the need to drive infections down.

“One in 100 or more, die,” he said.

“So when we see more than 200 cases in one day we’re looking at two to three deaths in a week’s time.”

A woman with grey hair wears a surgical mask while walking past a tramA woman with grey hair wears a surgical mask while walking past a tram
Authorities have urged Victorians to follow public health advice.(ABC News: Simon Winter)

There were now 21 cases linked to the JBS Abattoir in Brooklyn, Professor Sutton said.

A total of nine cases have been linked to Embracia Moonee Valley aged care and two linked to St Basil’s aged care in Fawkner.

Five cases have been liked to Steel Mains, a steel fabrication business in Somerton, and four cases have been linked to Waste Equipment and Hiab Services in Ardeer.

The surge in cases in Victoria in recent weeks reignited debate about whether health authorities should to shift their strategy from suppression to elimination.

Asked whether Victoria should make that change, Professor Sutton said: “I’d love elimination but it’s not the right time to be assessing whether that is feasible right now.”

Mr Andrews said there were no plans to implement stage four restrictions, but stressed authorities had not ruled it out if cases continue to climb.

“The length of the current restrictions and the likelihood of further restrictions is in the hands of every Victorian,” Mr Andrews said.

He also did not rule out implementing different levels of restrictions for different parts of Melbourne.

Mr Andrews said between 300 and 400 people from the private sector could be recruited to work in the public health team.

“We already have a number of stood-down workers from the travel industry,” he said. “

“They’ve been working with us for a few months now because they have those call-centre skills.”

More to come.

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