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Victoria records 216 new cases and one death from coronavirus – The Age

A man in his nineties has died from the Covid-19 virus and the government has flagged mask use will be important part of lockdown ending

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Thirty of the new cases are connected to known outbreaks. There are 49 Victorians in hospital and 15 of those are in intensive care.
Mr Andrews again urged Victorians to leave their homes for just four reasons: for groceries, to exercise, working or learning and caregiving.
“I know it is very frustrating, and it is not the place that we wanted to be in, but it’s a clear strategy.
“It will work, but only if every single Victorian and the whole community that will ultimately benefit from that strategy – it only works if we all play our part. It is the simple stuff, the common sense, just doing the right thing, the smart thing. That’s how we will get to the other side of this.”
Masks a part of the answer
Mr Andrews said it was “almost certain” that wearing masks would be part of Victoria’s eventual reopening.
‘It’s quite noticeable that many more people are wearing masks now, and I’m grateful to them,” he said.
He said two million Australian-made, perhaps even Victorian-made, masks would be ordered and distributed to “priority groups”.
“In the meantime… we have ordered some additional single-use masks to replenish any reuse in coming days and weeks. That will principally be in healthcare settings and other settings where we think there’s a really big reward.”
New testing sites
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos has announced new testing sites will be set up in Mernda, Greensborough, Tarneit and on the Mornington Peninsula. There are now more than 150 testing sites across Victoria.
“Ultimately our ambition here is to provide a testing site to everyone within 10km of their home within metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, the areas where we have a key focus at the present time,” she said.
Ms Mikakos said the state had now conducted 1,000,095 tests, more than 25,000 since yesterday.
“In terms of our testing rate per 100,000 people, that is now 16,606,” she said.
Hospitals ‘well prepared’
Ms Mikakos said Victoria’s hospitals and health services were “well supported and prepared”.
“They have been working since January to respond to this pandemic. Even when the numbers came down, they never paused in their efforts. They are well resourced and well trained to respond,” she said.
“We have ventilators in our warehouse. We have medical equipment in our warehouse and being distributed to our health services all the time, and personal protective equipment – 32 million masks are sitting in our warehouse as we speak.”
She also urged anyone who was sick with any illnesses to ensure they sought appropriate medical care.
“I take this opportunity to reassure the community that our hospitals remain safe for them to visit.”
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said there had now been more than 100 outbreaks across the state and acknowledged there were risks with schools.
“Certainly the Al-Taqwa outbreak had a lot of school-aged children.The risks were in school and out of school. And the physical distancing at school wasn’t ideal. I’m absolutely mindful of the risk with kids in school.”
Professor Sutton said it would be important to exclude unwell children as year 11 and 12 students returned to school, to ensure children were temperature tested and try to ensure social distancing within the classroom.
He also singled out aged care facilities as a source of concern.
“We are seeing single cases with staff members in aged care facilities. That’s the workforce that we have to be really mindful of,” he said.
Professor Brett Sutton said he hoped to see the second wave of infections across Melbourne flatten within the next three to five days.
“I’m hoping for it from now. We know that there were some changes in behaviour in advance of the lockdown and so should also have an effect.”
He said he knew there would continue to be cases of community transmissions because people needed to go to work.
“We need to work with the masks, the workplaces, make sure people are doing the right things in terms of excluding themselves

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