COVID-19 Community Update: active case numbers and the latest on restrictions
08 May 2020
Today the National Cabinet announced the next steps to move towards easing the restrictions that are currently in place. Here is the latest.
NO ACTIVE CASES
Firstly, to the good news! In recent weeks, I’ve been pushing the government to improve daily reporting of regional COVID-19 cases, after many of you told me you wanted to know how many active cases are in our region.
The government finally released this data yesterday. As of 7 May 2020, there are 105 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria.
This new active cases data tells us that at this time, we do not have any active COVID-19 cases across the Euroa electorate, meaning that the cases represented below and listed in my previous updates have now recovered.
CHANGES AGREED TO BY NATIONAL CABINET
Following a meeting of the National Cabinet this morning, the Prime Minister announced the next three steps towards lifting restrictions.
The roadmap notes that states and territories will move at different times based on local conditions.
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Actually, not much for us in Victoria at the moment. Following the National Cabinet meeting, Premier Daniel Andrews said that at this time he won’t be adopting the changes agreed to, describing them as a “menu” from which the states might select.
He has confirmed that current restrictions will remain in place in Victoria until at least Monday.
This of course means that sadly families will not be able to visit their mothers for Mother’s Day, like those in other states are able.
I have urged the Victorian Government to follow the lead of other states in relaxing restrictions on solo activities which can be undertaken with the necessary physical distancing, like fishing, hunting and kayaking.
I’d love to know your thoughts on current restrictions. If you have 20 seconds to spare, let me know here.
TESTING CRITERIA EXPANDED
Anyone with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 such as fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose and loss of sense of smell is now being asked to get tested, even if symptoms are mild.
More than 100,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Victoria over the past two weeks. The testing blitz came after the National Cabinet agreed that increased testing was a pre-requisite for the potential easing of restrictions.
The results of the increased testing will help to gather data about the virus itself and possible community transmission.
If you have any symptoms, even if mild, please get tested.
Victoria has not announced a return date for schools, although childcare centres continue to operate.
The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee which is made up of the chief health officers from all states and territories and is chaired by Australia’s chief medical officer Brendan Murphy has advised the National Cabinet that schools are safe to return.
This prompted the National Cabinet to agree on April 16 that education was best delivered in the classroom, however the Victorian Government has chosen not to reopen schools at this time.
School will resume in NSW and Western Australia on Monday. Monday will also see a return to classrooms for kindergarten, foundation, grade 1 and year 11 and 12 students in Queensland with schools there expected to be fully operational by May 25. The ACT has a staged return to school over the next four weeks with certain year levels starting earlier than others.
More than five million Australians have now voluntarily downloaded the COVID-Safe app.
The app uses technology to improve contact tracing to limit the further spread of coronavirus through early notification of exposure.
It allows health officials to tell if you have come into close contact with someone who is diagnosed with the virus and helps them notify people you have been in close contact with so they can self-quarantine and be tested.
The Federal Government hopes use of the app will speed up the lifting of restrictions. The app can be downloaded at covidsafe.gov.au.
MORE INFORMATION LIKELY ON MONDAY
I will endeavour to update you as soon as possible on Monday following the Premier’s announcements about whether there is any change to restrictions in Victoria.
Enjoy the weekend and stay safe.