‘Very good’ news ‘imminent’ for Geelong and regional Vic

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

By Luke Voogt

Geelong has six active COVID-19 cases, with just three cases with an unknown source in all of regional Victoria now preventing a significant easing of restrictions.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews today hinted regional Victoria, including Geelong, could move to the third step of his government’s reopening roadmap soon.

“Hopefully we’ve had no mystery cases in the data I report tomorrow, and hopefully we can have more to say,” Mr Andrews told a press conference this morning.

“Hopefully we have some very, very good news for regional Victoria tomorrow, but that is subject to the numbers that come in today.

“There’s an opportunity for regional Victoria to take yet another step in just a few days’ time if these trends continue.”

Regional Victoria recorded an average 3.9 new cases per day for the fortnight to 11.59pm yesterday, well under a five-or-fewer trigger point required to move to the third step.

If enacted, the third step will allow regional Victorian residents to have five visitors over, leave home without restriction and gather in public in groups of up to 10.

The step will also allow restaurants and other hospitality venues to reopen, predominantly with an outdoor seated service only.

The second trigger point for the third step is no cases with unknown transmission in regional Victoria for 14 days.

Regional Victoria recorded three cases with an unknown source over the past fortnight to Friday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The 14-day period for unknown cases ends 48 hours earlier than the 14-day period used to calculate the daily case average, due to the time required to fully investigate a case and assign its source.

Greater recorded no new cases over the weekend, with active cases dropping from seven on Saturday to six as of 11.59pm yesterday.

Colac Otway Shire recorded two new cases on Saturday but none yesterday, with active cases dropping from three to 23 yesterday.

Surf Coast and Golden Plains shires have no active cases.

Victoria recorded 35 new cases yesterday, with the overall total increasing by 37 to 19,872.

The extra two cases were due to three being removed due to duplication but five added after being reclassified from negative to confirmed, DHHS explained.

Of the new cases, 12 are linked to outbreaks or complex cases and 23 are under investigation.

Victoria’s active cases dropped by 82 from 1157 on Saturday to 1075 as of 11.59pm yesterday.

Of the total active cases, 513 relate to aged care facilities, while overall 1019 in reside in metropolitan Melbourne and 47 in regional Victoria.

Another seven Victorians have died after contracting coronavirus, all linked to aged care outbreaks, bringing the state’s death toll to 729.

The new deaths include a man in his 70s, a woman in her 80s, a man in his 80s, a woman in her 90s and three men in their 90s.

Three of the deaths occurred prior to yesterday.

Currently 122 people are in hospital after contracting COVID-19 including 12 in intensive care, while 18,006 people have recovered.

A total of 2,497,710 test results have been received by DHHS so far.

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