Victoria’s daily COVID-19 tally back in single digits with seven new cases, two deaths

Victoria’s daily COVID-19 tally back in single digits with seven new cases, two deaths

October 1, 2020

Victoria's daily COVID-19 case tally is back in the single digits with seven new cases recorded on Friday, as health authorities identify more high-risk exposure sites linked to the Chadstone Shopping Centre outbreak.

Sadly, another two Victorians have died, bringing the state's death toll to 802.

Friday's figures bring the state's 14-day average, tied to the next stage of easing lockdown restrictions, to 13.2 new cases per day, due to the inclusion of three cases listed as "overseas, interstate or no fixed address".

For Melbourne to move to step three of the government's road map out of lockdown, the statewide 14-day average needs to be five or less.

There also needs to be fewer than five "mystery" cases statewide – those without a known source of infection – over the prior two weeks for restrictions to be eased further.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said mystery cases have emerged far and wide across Melbourne, although they have been halving week-on-week for the past four weeks.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services website on Friday morning, the number of mystery cases from September 16 to September 29 was 14.

"It is important to note that these mystery cases are in 14 different local government areas, so they are widely distributed and … it just reinforces the need for people with symptoms to come forward for testing wherever they are in Melbourne," Professor Cheng said.

The last time the daily case number was consistently in the single digits was in the first week of June. Victoria's daily tally fell into the single digits on September 28 when five infections emerged, but the numbers bounced back up this week.

More stores at Chadstone Shopping Centre have been identified as high-risk exposure sites by the Health Department following an outbreak that has infected at least eight people.

The Chadstone outbreak, linked to The Butcher Club, has infected at least eight people, including multiple members of a Frankston household. Four of Thursday's 15 cases were linked to The Butcher Club outbreak.

Woolworths, Aldi and Jasper Coffee at Chadstone Shopping Centre have been added to the state's list of high-risk COVID exposure sites, as well as Chemist Warehouse on Toorak Road in Burwood and Leo's Fine Food and Wine Supermarket.

Meanwhile, the City of Melbourne is painting three-metre large "physical-distancing circles" in four inner-city parks to encourage social distancing during spring and summer.

The circles will be painted on the grass in Princes Park, Flagstaff Gardens, Kings Domain South and Buluk Park in Docklands from Friday morning. The circles will help ensure single people or those in groups will be at least two metres apart while enjoying the spring sunshine.

‘Physical-distancing circles’ in Princes Park, Carlton.

Under current Melbourne's current lockdown restrictions, groups of up to five people from two different households can spend two hours together outside.

Geelong is already trialling the measure and earlier this week Stonnington council painted circles in parks near its Chapel Street precinct.

White "picnic circles" appeared in parks in New York, San Francisco and London during the northern hemisphere's summer months.

People picnicking inside physical distancing circles at Dolores Park in San Francisco in June.Credit:AP

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