Victoria has recorded 73 new infections overnight and, tragically, its highest-ever death toll with 41 lives lost.
It is the highest number of deaths in a single day in Victoria with the previous record of 25 deaths recorded on August 17.
The death toll for the state now stands at 565 after it reached the grim milestone of 500 deaths on Saturday.
It comes as Premier Daniel Andrews announced Melburnians will need to wait another week for details on a “roadmap” out of stage four lockdown.
Mr Andrews told reporters on Monday morning he will make the much-anticipated announcement on September 6.
“It is too early today to settle that roadmap and to lock that in as it were,” he said.
“Another week‘s data is critically important to make sure that the strategy continues to work and for us to have a better sense of how long it will take to drive these numbers down to very, very low numbers so that they can be contained uncontrolled without the need to put restrictions back on over not just weeks and months, but over a longer period, finding that COVID-19 normal and looking at in for many months.”
Despite 11 confirmed deaths on Sunday, the Victorian health department said Monday’s deaths included 22 people who died in the weeks leading up to August 27 and were only reported to DHHS by aged care facilities on Sunday.
The Premier confirmed 33 deaths occurred prior to Sunday, while eight people died overnight.
He said 37 of the 41 fatalities could be linked to aged care.
On why the backlog of deaths took so long to be publicly reported the state’s chief medical officer professor Brett Sutton said there was a “reconciliation”.
“These are deaths that have happened over previous weeks, including going back to late July,” he said.
“There are Commonwealth reporting obligations, state reporting processes, and we need to reconcile those cases, so that whatever the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre is reporting is absolutely consistent.
“The Commonwealth has strengthened the reporting obligations in early August based on a need to have absolutely definitive data on deaths that have occurred in residence have coronavirus, and so in early August, there was a mandatory reporting to the Commonwealth that also goes to VA IRC on that basis.
“It is not about deaths having occurred just now or in the last week. They are deaths that have occurred over several weeks. Of course all of those deaths have been known to the facility, they have been known to the families of those residents.”
On Sunday the state recorded 114 new cases, including 74 mystery cases.
Politicians have reacted to the huge jump in deaths, with State Greens MP Ellen Sandell describing the rise as “devastating”.
It comes as deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth said it was unlikely metropolitan Melbourne would come out of stage 4 restrictions in two weeks.
In a further blow to Victorians, he said it was “hard to see” restrictions being lifted on schedule given the number of infections and deaths being reported in Victoria.
“I have to be honest … with the people of Victoria,” Dr Coatsworth said.
“I think that we’re going to have to see the numbers down where they’re controllable.
“That is the numbers that you are seeing in NSW and Queensland at the moment.
“You can see the effort that it takes to control numbers between about five and 10 per day.
“I think we need to see what happens to the numbers. I think the numbers need to be a lot less than they are now.”
New Treasury figures have also revealed the economic blow to hit Victoria amid the state’s second coronavirus wave with another 30,000 people forced onto unemployment benefits as a result of the second lockdown since July.
One million Victorians are now on JobKeeper, with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg further revealing400,000 Victorians are now officially unemployed and surviving on the dole.
“Restrictions imposed by the Victorian Government have had a devastating impact on the economy,’’ Mr Frydenberg said.
“The number of Victorians on unemployment benefits has significantly increased with the impost of restrictions while numbers in other states have declined.
“In July the effective unemployment rate in Victoria, before the stage 4 lockdown, was around 10.5 per cent, while it was around 8.5 per cent in NSW where they are managing the virus and have reopened their economy.”
As of Sunday, August 30 there are 4226 cases across Victoria as a result of community transmission.
The state’s aged care facilities continue to deal with volatile outbreaks, with Epping Gardens and St Basil’s grappling with more than 200 cases.
Eight more facilities have more than 100 infections.
Victoria recorded its first double-digit daily case total in about eight weeks on Saturday, while Premier Daniel Andrews faces increasing pressure to detail what restrictions will be eased on September 13.
Victorian parliament is expected to vote on the Premier’s controversial bill to extend Victoria’s state of emergency by another 12 months this week.