Over 500 coronavirus cases as numbers spike

COVID-19 cases have continued to soar in Victoria with 532 new cases, a record amount, confirmed in Victoria as of Monday morning, including one in Mount Alexander.

On Monday the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed there a 8696 cases in the state, 4542 of which are active.

A further six people died overnight, bringing Victoria’s number of deaths to 77.

Mount Alexander recorded its first new case in months following a cluster of positive cases at Don KR Castlemaine.

While 10 cases have been linked to the factory, only one has registered in the shire — case locations are determined by the patient’s residential address.

There is now a total of seven cases in Mount Alexander, with one currently active.

During a press conference on Monday Premier Daniel Andrews urged Victorians to get tested, reminding residents that the virus “doesn’t discriminate”.

“I’ve had a bit of feedback from people that there may be a reticence to come foward, there might be a sense that you would be looked upon badly or somehow judged — nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.

“This virus is wildly infectious, it doesn’t discriminate, it is in no way a commentary on who you are, your family, or your circumstances. On that basis we’re all in this together.

“If you have symptoms, coming forward and getting tested is something we’ll be grateful for and it is you doing the right thing and making a powerful contribution.

“Beyond that, to not go to work because you feel sick, to give us a list of (close contact) names and speak to people you’ve been in contact with because you’ve got a positive diagnosis, that’s something to be proud of and to every Victorian doing that I am very, very proud of you and very grateful.”

The Loddon Shire also has five cases, two of which are active.

Greater Bendigo — which borders Mitchell Shire, currently in stage three restrictions along with metro Melbourne — has 18 cases, eight of which are active.

Ballarat had 24 cases, 10 of which are active.

Central Goldfields (1), Pyrenees (0) and Hepburn (2) shires, as of Monday did not have active cases.

Stage three ‘stay at home’ restrictions are currently in force across metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire where the majority of cases have been recorded.

It is also now mandatory for residents or visitors to those areas to wear a face mask when leaving home — with a $200 fine for those not wearing a face covering.

While not mandatory in rural and regional areas, residents are urged to wear masks when social distancing cannot be maintained such as at the supermarket or on public transport.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the stage three restrictions are harsh but necessary.

“These restrictions are necessary because of the ongoing high number of cases we’re seeing,” he said.

“These are tough measures, but this virus is not selective — it will impact anyone it encounters, and personal contact is the clear source of its transmission. We need everyone to do their part and ensure it is stopped in its tracks.”

 

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