Latest Australia coronavirus update sees record day for new cases.
Victoria recorded 484 COVID-19 cases in just 24 hours, boosting national coronavirus numbers beyond anything yet recorded.
Another record day for Victoria’s coronavirus cases has resulted in a sobering milestone for the country, with Australia officially facing its largest daily number since the pandemic broke out in January.
Most of the 502 cases were from Victoria, with 16 others in NSW, one in Queensland and one in South Australia.
Of Victoria’s 484 cases, the source of only 97 were known, with the other 387 under investigation.
WA recorded no new cases.
Thousands infected nationally
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd confirmed Australia had well over 3,000 active coronavirus cases.
“There are approximately 3,500 people currently infected with Covid-19 in our country,” he said in Canberra.
“Nationwide there are 214 people with COVID-19 in hospital, which is an additional 31 people hospitalised since yesterday.”
205 of those people in hospital are in Victoria, 42 of which are in intensive care and 25 of which are on ventilators.
Dr Kidd said today’s caseload broke Australia’s previous record.
“This is the single largest daily number of diagnoses seen of COVID-19 in Australia since the pandemic began,” he said.
“The previous highest reported number of new cases in a single day was 469 cases, almost four months ago on 28 March.”
Two more deaths in Victoria
Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the death toll of his State also rose by two yesterday, taking it to 44.
Of those, 17 have died in the last seven days alone.
The two latest death were both men in their 90s, both from aged care facilities.
Aged care outbreaks
Most of the deaths recorded in the last week were residents of aged care homes.
Currently there are 45 outbreaks in aged care facilities across the State.
Mr Andrews said of those infected, half were staff.
“It’s roughly 50-50 in terms of workers and patients,” he said.
In some aged care settings, so many staff were infected that a “supplementary workforce” was needed to be put in place.
No end in sight for mandatory mask rules
With the mandatory rules in place from 11.59pm tonight, Mr Andrews could not give a timeframe on how long such directions would remain.
“What I can say is they’ll be required so long as they can make a difference,” he said.
“If we can get virus levels to such a low point that they’re deemed not necessarily of any use any further, then we wouldn’t be asking people to wear them.”
He said big supermarkets would turn people away if they are not wearing masks.
“You may well be turned away if you turn up at your Coles or Woolies or IGA and you don’t have a mask on,” he said.
Prisons in lockdown
There are currently six prisons across Victoria in lockdown after a guard tested positive to COVID-19.
However, Mr Andrews said prison and detention settings were not the priority.
“That is not a focus of our attention at the moment,” he said.
“We’ve always known there was the potential for somebody connected with this unique environment to be positive.”
Cases expected to keep climbing
Victoria’s Chief health officer Brett Sutton said the worst days were yet to pass.
“We can’t necessarily expect numbers to go down,” he said.
“I think that will be an even greater challenge in days ahead, that means that we’re going to look at 500 to 600 cases per day.
“I absolutely don’t want us to go there. So we have to reinforce the things that we know will make a difference.”
More than half of those getting tested not self-isolating
Mr Andrews revealed that more than 50 per cent of people who tested positive reported not self-isolating between taking the test and getting their results.
“That is, did not stay at home and have no contact with anybody else between when they had their test taken and when they got the results of that test,” he said.
“Fifty-three per cent of people continuing to go shopping, continuing to go to work, continuing to do all sorts of things even though they’ve got symptoms, they feel sick, sick enough to get a test, and then, somehow, not willing to stay at home and wait – on average – a couple of days, and sometimes sooner, to get the results of that test.”
Further Perth COVID-19 news coverage on SoPerth.com.au.