By Luke Voogt
Coronavirus cases in Geelong have risen to 11, with another two on the Surf Coast, the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Tuesday.
The department had confirmed 10 cases in Geelong on Monday before confirming another on Tuesday, it said in update on Wedneday.
The rise comes as federal government on Sunday announced the shutdown of non-essential services and stricter social distancing measures, while asking people to stay at home.
The department confirmed 55 new cases of COVID-19 in Victoria on Tuesday, bringing the state total to 466.
“The total number of cases includes 271 men and 191 women [and] four cases under investigation [with] people aged from pre-school age to late eighties,” the department said.
“At the present time, there are eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria that may have been acquired through community transmission.
“Currently 12 people are in hospital, including two patients in intensive care [and] 128 have recovered. More than 25,500 Victorians have been tested to date.”
Of the total 466 cases, 386 occurred in metropolitan Melbourne and 47 in regional Victoria. A number remained under investigation, according to the department.
All close contacts of confirmed cases and people arriving from overseas must self-isolate, the department warned.
“While most Victorians are voluntarily complying with requests to isolate, police have strong powers to enforce the direction if it’s required.
“Under [Victoria’s] State of Emergency people who don’t comply with a directive could receive a fine of up to $20,000. Companies face fines of up to $100,000.”
Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton warned everyone to take social distancing seriously during these “unprecedented times”.
“Social distancing will save lives,” Professor Sutton said.
“Everyone needs to comply with restrictions in place to keep yourself, your loved ones and the whole community safe.
“Everyone who’s unwell must isolate themselves and everyone who’s been told they’re in quarantine either as a returned traveller or close contact must do so.
“We urge everyone to stay 1.5 metres away from everyone else, wash your hands often with soap and water and cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.”
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has a hotline for public information on COVID-19 which is 1800 675 398.