Victorian health authorities have revised down the state’s daily coronavirus figures after a case in the state’s north was found to be a false positive.
Victoria initially confirmed nine new COVID-19 cases overnight, but that figure was downgraded by The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to eight after the false positive case was reported in Greater Shepparton, an official confirmed with news.com.au.
Victoria recorded no new virus deaths for the first time in three weeks.
The state‘s death toll remains at 806. It’s only the second fatal-free day in the state since July 13. The last death-free day was September 15.
The consistently low infection numbers mean Melbourne‘s all-important 14-day average has dropped again, to 11.6. That figure must be around five for the Government to consider reopening the city.
Regional Victoria’s average rose to 0.3 from 0.2 yesterday.
The city‘s curfew was scrapped last week, while about 127,000 Melburnians returned to work.
Residents are now permitted to meet outside in groups of up to five people from two households.
Primary school students will also be able to return to the classroom from October 12.
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If cases remain low the Premier expected Melbourne to take the third step on the state‘s COVID-19 recovery road map on October 19, a week earlier than originally scheduled.
But Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton has said it will be “line ball” whether Melbourne’s next round of COVID-19 restrictions are eased in a fortnight’s time.
Professor Sutton was asked by reporters on Monday morning whether he thought the capital could achieve the 14-day rolling average of less than five cases per day by October 19, when it’s planned to progress to Step Three of its road map out of lockdown.
“My gut feel … it will be a line ball. Look, it’s not a certain one way or the other,” he said.
The biggest threat to meeting the threshold, Prof Sutton said, was losing control over “mystery cases”, of which there are currently 13 over the last two weeks.
But, he said, authorities wouldn’t rule out an easing of restrictions if the target wasn’t met.
“We’d have to see exactly where we were at that time, including the trend,” he said.
“Because if all five cases are in the first week of that fortnight and we have seven or eight or nine days prior to the 19th that has absolutely no mystery cases, that’s a positive, obviously.”
Prof Sutton also warned that even if several rules are lifted come October 19, the 5km limit on household movement could stay in place.
“We will examine it at the point when we are there,” he said.
“We will see where the outbreaks transmission is coming from and reflect on the 5km rule with respect to that and the overall picture.”
It comes as a regional Victorian cafe has been left heartbroken after it was contacted by health authorities and advised a positive case from Melbourne had dined there.
The owner of OddfelIows Cafe in Kilmore, an hour north of Melbourne, said she had “worked so hard” to keep their business open.
“To say I’m upset this has happened when it shouldn’t of is an understatement,” owner Kim Short wrote on Facebook yesterday.
The Melburnian was allowed to leave the CBD to provide care to someone in Kilmore however decided to dine at the cafe while transiting through.
It comes after foolish Melburnians who flocked to beaches over the weekend threatened to undo the city’s hard work in fighting COVID-19, with the Premier issuing a stern warning on Sunday.
“People love to go to the beach when it’s sunny but there’s a global pandemic on and we’re very close to beating the second wave,” he said.
“If you want to spend summer at the beach, then that will be the time to do that if we don‘t do anything silly or anything selfish right now.
“Let’s not do anything that might undermine the very positive numbers, the very strong performance we have seen in recent days.”