Victoria has recorded another 273 cases of coronavirus in the state and one death, as the Government confirms prep to year 10 students in locked-down areas will return to home learning from July 20.
- The Premier says returning to home learning in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will stop hundreds of thousands of students and their parents moving around the community
- Specialist school and VCE students will return to the classroom as normal from next week
- There are 57 people in Victorian hospitals with COVID-19, including 16 in intensive care
The person who died overnight was a man in his 70s, Premier Daniel Andrews said this morning.
Mr Andrews said there were 57 Victorians with coronavirus in hospital, including 16 people in intensive care.
There are now 1,484 active cases of coronavirus in Victoria.
Mr Andrews said from July 20, prep to year 10 students in mainstream state schools in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire would return to remote learning until at least August 19.
Victoria’s VCE and VCAT students are returning to schools for face-to-face learning tomorrow, and specialist schools will also remain open.
All students in regional Victoria, outside of the Mitchell Shire, will return to school in person as normal from tomorrow.
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The Premier acknowledged the return to home learning would be “very, very challenging” for parents but said there was simply no alternative.
“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, as if there wasn’t a lockdown,” he said.
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Education Minister and Deputy Premier James Merlino said from July 20, all parents of children with a disability would have the option to send their kids to school when needed.
“It could be five days a week, it could be two days a week, it could be half a day a week, to provide a bit of respite,” he said.
Students outside of the locked-down areas will resume classes in person.(ABC News: Tim Swanston)
Children of essential workers and vulnerable children will have the option to return to school, as they did during the last lockdown, and this time children with a disability will also have the option of face-to-face learning.
The Minister said there would be some extra support available for affected parents in term three.
“These settings, learning the lessons from the past, but keeping more than 700,000 students and their parents and carers not moving around metropolitan Melbourne or the Mitchell Shire will go a long way to the goal that we all have,” he said.
Some of the support available for parents in term three will include free kindergarten for eligible parents in the locked-down areas.
New cases in towers and hospitals
Victoria records 273 new cases of COVID-19.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said students returning to school next week would not be required to wear masks, but would be welcome to wear them if they wanted to.
“Teaching is pretty tough with a mask on,” he said.
“They require those facial expressions; they require the ability to be understood and heard clearly.”
During the last lockdown, Victoria’s child safety watchdog raised concerns about how some of the state’s most vulnerable students would access education.
Professor Sutton said reintroducing home learning was a difficult decision to make, but said the pandemichad not yet reached its peak and authorities were throwing “absolutely everything at it”.
He said there were at least 145 cases linked to public housing towers in North Melbourne and Flemington which were locked down last weekend.
Twenty-two cases were linked to public housing in Carlton.
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