No new restrictions

While Wednesday’s state-wide figure is Australia’s highest-ever surge in cases, Daniel Andrews said there will be no additional rules or changes to the current restrictions at this stage.

In a record breaking daily increase, Premier Daniel Andrews revealed 484 people tested positive to coronavirus across the state on Wednesday 22 July.

Two men in their 90s died overnight, bringing the state’s death toll to 44.

As of Tuesday, there were 18 active cases in Cardinia Shire, a staggering 103 in Casey, 44 in Greater Dandenong and three in Baw Baw.

One of the positive cases in Cardinia Shire this week was a teacher at Pakenham Secondary College, however the teacher did not attend the campus while infectious.

In a statement released to the school community on Monday 20 July, principal Ray Squires said staff and students weren’t required to take any further precautionary action.

“I would like to reassure you that we took immediate action as soon as we became aware of the situation and sought advice from DHHS and the Department of Education and Training (DET),” Mr Squires said.

“I can reassure you that we are doing everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our whole school community, and we have followed the advice from DHHS and DET on this matter.

“I ask you to please respect the privacy of the staff member and encourage the community to support each other during this time.”

While Wednesday’s state-wide figure is Australia’s highest-ever surge in cases, Mr Andrews said there will be no additional rules or changes to the current restrictions at this stage.

“There’s no announcements to be made today about any changes to the rules.

“If we were to move to a further stage of restrictions where other movements were limited, will that stop people going to work that are going to work now? No.

“We can’t rule those measures out but at this stage, the key factor here that is driving the numbers and driving our challenge, is people that are sick but not getting tested – they ultimately do get tested – but in those intervening days they are going about their business with symptoms at the height of their infectivity, giving it to others.”

Of the 484 new cases, 97 are connected to known and contained outbreaks, while 387 are under investigation.

There are 202 in hospital and 40 receiving intensive care.

In addressing a ‘New Zealand-style’ lockdown, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said that if Victoria were to implement the same deal, he does not believe it would address the issues at hand.

“I certainly wouldn’t even assume that a New Zealand-style lockdown will address the issues that we have,” Professor Sutton said.

“Obviously people were very constrained during that four week period in New Zealand but New Zealand didn’t have significant community transmission and it was a much more straight forward contact tracing process.

“So I wouldn’t make assumptions that harder, more constrained lockdown is necessarily the way to go.”

Residents in locked down areas, including Cardina Shire, will face a $200 fine if they are caught without a face mask in public from Thursday 23 July.

Exempt from the new rule include those who have a medical reason, children under 12 and those who have a professional reason.