Victoria's biggest virus rise in two weeks

 

Victorians have a crucial week ahead that will help their government make the call on whether the state follows others in easing restrictions after next weekend.

With Victoria's state of alarm set to finish on May 11, the state government has been urged to relax its measures, especially regarding the return of students to schools.

Victoria recorded 22 new cases yesterday - the biggest in the last two weeks.

Authorities believe the spike is because of the meat works cluster and the outbreak in a Victorian school.

 

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley have provided an update on coronavirus and announced the launch Victoria Together, a new online portal to support creative industries and to keep Victorians connected. Picture: James Ross/AAP
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley have provided an update on coronavirus and announced the launch Victoria Together, a new online portal to support creative industries and to keep Victorians connected. Picture: James Ross/AAP

Premier Daniel Andrew's cabinet has stood firm on their intentions to keep Victorians partially locked down.

Whether this changes will heavily depend on how the fight against the pandemic moves forward this week.

The state's testing blitz that aims to complete 100,000 tests before May 11 will help in making that decision.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the more people were tested, the more the health department could know about the virus and how it spreads in the community.

Anyone with even mild symptoms of coronavirus has been encouraged to get tested.

Yesterday, 13,000 people were tested at 90 sites across the state.

Melbourne Water will be at the forefront of a coronavirus sewage sampling project aiming to help inform policy makers and health authorities about potential clusters of people infected.

A cleaner is seen inside of a classroom at Meadowglen Primary School in Melbourne, Sunday, May 3, 2020. Picture: Scott Barbour/AAP
A cleaner is seen inside of a classroom at Meadowglen Primary School in Melbourne, Sunday, May 3, 2020. Picture: Scott Barbour/AAP

The government's description of the health emergency as "fragile" was confirmed when 13 new coronavirus cases were confirmed on Sunday.

This slight increase on cases compared to recent days brought Victoria's total cases to 1393.

Six of the new cases are linked to an outbreak at a meat processing plant that was not named.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said the Department of Health and Human Services only does so for outbreaks where there is a "significant public health risk".

Opposition leader Michael O'Brien said this meat processing plant should be treated the same way schools and hospitals and aged care facilities are.

One of the positive cases confirmed was a Victorian teacher at Meadow Glen primary school in Epping.

The Melbourne north school will be shut from Monday to Wednesday.

"The school will be closed for three days so health teams can carry out full contact tracing and we can give the entire place a thorough clean," Premier Andrews said.

"To all the teachers and school staff out there, my heartfelt thanks. Please know that in Victoria, you will always be valued. You will always be listened to."

The teacher's infection was reported after Education Minister Dan Tehan accused Mr Andrews of failing in his leadership by keeping schools shut.

Mr Tehan later issued a statement withdrawing the remarks, saying he had overstepped the mark.

- With wires

Originally published as State's biggest rise in two weeks



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