Victoria records 273 cases new cases of COVID-19 and man in 70s dies

Coronavirus numbers keep climbing in Victoria as 273 new cases are recorded and a man in his 70s dies – while schools are again set to close and infections hit hospitals during lockdown

  • Man in his 70s dies in Victoria as state records 273 new coronavirus cases 
  • 57 Victorians in hospital, including 16 who remain in intensive care with virus
  • The state’s death toll is currently at 24, while nation’s death toll rose to 108 
  • Students in grades 11 and 12 can return to classrooms from Monday in Victoria
  • Other students have an extra week of holidays before taking class from home 

A man in his 70s has died and another 273 cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Victoria overnight as the state is gripped by a second wave of the disease. 

There are 57 Victorians in hospital with COVID-19, including 16 who remain in intensive care, Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed on Sunday morning. 

The additional death takes the national toll to 108 after a man in his 90s also died on Saturday. 

As part of efforts to restrict the spread of the virus, Mr Andrews said schools would close and return to online classes from July 20, while students from kindergarten to grade 10 in locked down suburbs will have a third week of school holidays this week.

Mr Andrews said he could not risk some 700,000 children and their parents commuting to and from school while the virus spreads through the community.  

Mr Andrews confirmed schools would reopen from Monday, but only for students in grades 11 or 12 in Victoria’s locked down suburbs.

Face-to-face learning is also available for certain grade 10 students, children with special needs and those whose parents cannot work from home. 

‘Keeping kids home from school was a vital part of slowing the spread of coronavirus before, and it will be vital to our efforts again,’ he said. 

A man in his 70s has died and another 273 cases of coronavirus have been identified in Victoria overnight as the state is gripped by a second wave of the disease

A man in his 70s has died and another 273 cases of coronavirus have been identified in Victoria overnight as the state is gripped by a second wave of the disease

Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the latest figures during a press conference on Sunday morning 

Victorians living in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire are currently in the midst of a second lockdown in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus. 

The reimposed lockdown measures in parts of the state mean people can only leave their homes for four essential purposes – groceries, daily exercise, to give or receive care and to go to school or work.  

Mr Andrews implored people to follow those orders, telling the public on Sunday it was currently a ‘very dangerous’ situation.

‘This is a dangerous time,’ he said.

At least 145 cases are linked to North Melbourne and Flemington public housing towers, while a further 22 are linked to a Carlton housing commission block.

But Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton confirmed those numbers are finally beginning to slow down after 10 towers were placed in a total lockdown last week.

Eight cases are linked to The Alfred hospital, though five of the staff who have been diagnosed are not believed to be linked. Initial testing suggests they acquired the virus in the community. 

The three other coronavirus cases were picked up through contact tracing and immediately asked to self-isolate. 

Further cases are linked to Box Hill Hospital and Brunswick Private Hospital, as well as a local abattoir. More details on clusters are expected by Sunday afternoon.  

A medical worker is pictured performing a COVID-19 test as Melbourne re-enters stage three lockdown restrictions

A medical worker is pictured performing a COVID-19 test as Melbourne re-enters stage three lockdown restrictions

A sanitation worker cleans a bench outside the single remaining public housing tower under a lockdownin Melbourne

A sanitation worker cleans a bench outside the single remaining public housing tower under a lockdownin Melbourne

Coronavirus outbreak at Melbourne’s The Alfred hospital as EIGHT staff test positive and hundreds more go into isolation 

Eight staff at The Alfred hospital in Melbourne have tested positive to coronavirus, forcing hundreds more into self isolation. 

Victoria became the coronavirus capital of Australia on Saturday when a further 216 cases were diagnosed.

Contact tracers are still trying to determine how many other staff at The Alfred may have come into contact with the infected staff members.

Five of the staff who have been diagnosed are not believed to be linked. Initial testing suggests they acquired the virus in the community. 

The three other coronavirus cases were picked up through contact tracing and immediately asked to self-isolate. 

Currently, no patients have contracted COVID-19 within the hospital, a spokesman confirmed.

The Alfred has not confirmed the roles of the staff members who have tested positive.

The Alfred’s Chief Executive Professor Andrew Way released a statement urging the community to assist health workers in minimising the spread of COVID-19.

‘Alfred Health, and our community, appreciate the work staff are doing to care for patients with COVID-19, and we take every measure to keep them safe,’ Professor Way said.

He said the hospital was following rigorous cleaning processes to ensure the safety of all staff and patients. 

‘As a community we must take collective responsibility for ourselves and others. We need everyone to follow the stringent protocols in place; they are there to keep us safe,’ Professor Way said.

‘We cannot afford to become complacent. And as this pandemic demonstrates – behaviour really matters.’ 

The infectious diseases ward, which is currently housing COVID-19 cases, has been effectively locked down in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus.

Anybody entering the ward must register their details with a concierge to ensure they can track their movements.   

A hospital spokesman said any staff member who had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 would be immediately sent for testing and suspended from duties.

They are also housing staff with vulnerable family members in hotels to ensure they are not putting anybody at risk.  

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‘This is a very challenging time, and I know we are asking a lot of Victorians, but we simply have no choice but to acknowledge the reality that we face and to do what must be done, and that is to follow those rules, to only go out when you need to, and to only go out for the purposes that are lawful,’ Mr Andrews said.

The premier said police would be out in full force and would not be issuing warnings to people caught flouting the rules. 

‘If we don’t follow the rules, if we don’t play our part, then we will simply see this virus continue to spread, and it will be a longer second wave, a more pronounced, a more tragic second wave than it ought be,’ he said.

‘Nobody wanted to be in this position, but this is where we find ourselves.’

Victoria now has more diagnosed cases of COVID-19 than any other state in Australia with 3,833 cases, 548 more than in New South Wales, which has so far recorded 3,285 cases. 

A normally bustling laneway in Melbourne is pictured virtually empty on July 10

A normally bustling laneway in Melbourne is pictured virtually empty on July 10 

A resident of the Pampas Street Public Housing complex in North Melbourne waves from the front door as the easing of lockdown restrictions is announced

A resident of the Pampas Street Public Housing complex in North Melbourne waves from the front door as the easing of lockdown restrictions is announced

Mr Andrews also reiterated the plan for students returning to school from holidays this week.

Students in grades 11 and 12 will all be welcomed back for face to face learning, as will students in grade 10 undertaking VCAL subjects.

Students with special needs will also be able to go back to classrooms, and schools will remain open for parents who must go to work.

All other students in the locked down regions will enjoy a further week of school holidays until July 20, when they will return to online classes. 

‘We can’t have the best part of 700,000 students as well as parents moving to and from school, moving around the community, as if there wasn’t a stay-at-home order,’ he said. 

Mr Andrews said as a father of three school-aged children himself, he understood the burden the new measures could place on parents. 

‘But we have to slow the spread of coronavirus to protect students, teachers and all Victorians,’ he said. 

A woman wearing a face mask stands inside a public housing tower locked down in Melbourne

A PPE demonstration is conducted for staff in the public housing towers of North Melbourne

‘This is not an ordinary weekend. It is anything but’ Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters

MELBOURNE’S SECOND LOCKDOWN

AREAS BACK UNDER STAGE THREE RESTRICTIONS:

* Metropolitan Melbourne covering 30 Local Government Areas – Banyule, Hume, Moreland, Bayside, Kingston, Mornington Peninsula, Boroondara, Knox, Nillumbik, Manningham, Port Phillip, Cardinia, Maribyrnong, Stonnington, Casey, Maroondah, Whitehorse, Darebin, Melbourne, Whittlesea, Frankston, Melton, Wyndham, Glen Eira, Monash, Yarra, Greater Dandenong, Moonee Valley, Yarra Ranges, Hobsons Bay.

* Mitchell Shire which includes the towns of Broadford, Kilmore, Seymour, Tallarook, Pyalong and Wallan.

WHAT WILL CLOSE AGAIN:

* Community sport

* Indoor sports and recreation including arenas and stadiums

* Swimming pools, saunas and bathhouses

* Food courts

* Indoor and outdoor cinemas

* Casino and gaming

* Brothels and strip clubs

* Beauty and personal care services

* Holiday accommodation and camping

* Play centres and playgrounds

* Galleries, museums and zoos

VISTORS AND PUBLIC GATHERINGS:

* No visitors allowed in homes

* Public gatherings and exercise can only be with immediate household or two people

ALLOWED OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES:

* Fishing and boating

* Tennis, golf and surfing

OPEN FOR BUSINESS:

* Retail subject to density

* Markets for food and drink only

* Hairdressers

HOSPITALITY:

* Cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs and bars return to takeaway only

REAL ESTATE:

* Return to remote auctions

* Inspections by appointment only

INTIMATE PARTNERS:

* Visits allowed

SECOND PLACE OF RESIDENCE:

* No visits outside the restricted areas – subject to conditions

HOLIDAYS:

* Can be completed by those already on holiday

* No new holiday travel from 11.59pm on July 8

FUNERALS:

* Ten people, plus those conducting the funeral

WEDDINGS:

* Five people (couple, witnesses and celebrant)

RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES:

* Broadcast only.

 

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