COVID 19 – Updates

COVID-19

What’s new?

  • As of 26 October 2020, zero new cases have been diagnosed since yesterday with the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria at 20,341.   
  • Today’s 14-day average case number for metropolitan Melbourne is 3.6 and regional Victoria is 0.2.  
  • There have been no new deaths from COVID-19 reported since yesterday. To date, 817 people have died from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria. 
  • The total number of cases from an unknown source in the last 14 days is seven for metropolitan Melbourne and zero for regional Victoria. 4,276 cases may indicate community transmission (a decrease of one since yesterday.) 
  • There are 91 cases currently active in Victoria. 19,366 people have recovered.  
  • Seven people are in hospital. There are no cases in intensive care. 
  • A total of 3,066,501 test results have been received. This is an increase of 14,024 since yesterday.  
  • You can find further details in today’s coronavirus (COVID-19) media release.   
  • The DHHS website has full details in the interactive daily report.
  • From 11:59pm on Tuesday 27 October, restrictions will be eased further in metropolitan Melbourne. Visit the Summary of changes to restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria page and stay up to date via the DHHS website.

Current advice to clinicians

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is continuing to ask commercial passenger vehicle drivers and food delivery drivers to get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19). If commercial passenger vehicle drivers and food delivery drivers do not have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, they will not have to stay home to wait for their test results. Commercial passenger vehicle drivers and food delivery drivers will need to tell staff at the testing centre/site that they work in the industry.
  • Prolonged use of PPE can cause facial or skin injuries, and advice on how to prevent and manage these effects is now online.
  • Notifications to the department of a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus (COVID-19) can be done online. You can submit an online form to our public health team, rather than calling us, saving you time and resolving your case load more efficiently.
  • Find out the latest information about visiting care facilities and hospitals on our website.
  • How to manage clinical waste from coronavirus (COVID-19) is now online.
  • Protecting our healthcare workers (PDF) sets out the very latest in our understanding of coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it can spread within healthcare settings – both hospitals and aged care facilities. More information can be found online.
  • A new Infection Prevention and Control resource hub is now online, and includes a new factsheet on protective eyewear and the Guide to the conventional use of PPE (Word)
  • In addition, there is updated PPE information for health care workers who are directly involved in treating patients. Updated information available online on the PPE coronavirus page.

Testing advice for clinicians in an outbreak setting

  • If a symptomatic patient that presents for testing, confirms exposure to a known COVID-19 case within the past 14 days, and the outbreak definition is met, the test sample is to be treated as an ‘outbreak sample’.

COVID-19 Testing Criteria

  • Practitioners should test any patients who meet the clinical criteria below:

    Fever OR chills in the absence of an alternative diagnosis that explains the clinical presentation*
    OR
    Acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, or loss or change in sense of smell or taste)

    Note: testing is also recommended for people with new onset of other clinical symptoms consistent with coronavirus (COVID-19)** AND who are from the following cohorts: close contacts of a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19); those who have returned from overseas in the past 14 days; or those who are healthcare or aged care workers. Testing is recommended for those cohorts with onset of other clinical symptoms**.  Asymptomatic testing is not recommended at this stage except for targeted programs

    *Clinical discretion applies including consideration of the potential for co-infection (e.g. concurrent infection with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza)
    **headache, myalgia, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea
  • If referring your patients for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing, a list of testing locations can be found on the getting tested for coronavirus page.

Victoria’s restriction levels

  • Victoria’s roadmap for reopening is a long-term plan to provide safe, steady and sustainable steps for our path out of restrictions into a COVID Normal. The easing of restrictions will be subject to public health advice and meeting specific 14-day average case numbers. There are separate roadmaps for metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria.

Key messages for the community

  • DHHS is responding to a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in northern metropolitan Melbourne. Any residents of Melbourne’s northern suburbs including Dallas, Roxburgh Park, Broadmeadows, Preston and West Heidelberg who are experiencing symptoms are being urged to get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • An extensive community health door knocking program is underway in these areas to let residents know about potential exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19), provide information about testing sites, and how to access supports such as financial assistance.  
    • Targeted engagement, testing and supports for residents of community housing in Broadmeadows is being provided. This includes health and wellbeing, and financial support so people can get tested and isolate. 
    • Asymptomatic testing is now being offered to all community members linked to the East Preston Islamic College outbreak. 
    • We thank the North Metro Melbourne community for their support and compliance, as we continue work together to get on top of this outbreak. 
  • Testing is a critical help to driving numbers down so it’s extremely important that if people have symptoms, however mild, they get tested. Go home straight after your test and isolate while you wait for the results. Go to the testing map for locations. 
  • High-risk locations are listed on the DHHS website. If you have visited any of the locations listed during the dates indicated, you should watch for coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. If symptoms occur immediately get tested and stay at home while you wait for results 
  • Six COVIDSafe principles apply across Victoria. 
    • Wear a face mask or covering when you leave home. 
    • Don’t go to work if you feel unwell. 
    • Maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres. 
    • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. 
    • Perform good hand hygiene. 
    • Outdoor activities carry less risk than indoor activities. 
  • Keep your home as safe and clean as possible against the virus. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Home Safety Plan is available for download at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/covid-19-home-safety-plan with hardcopy and translated versions available shortly. 
  • Many Victorians are feeling fatigued, isolated or lonely. If you are in need of support for your mental health there are mental health resources you can access on our website. 
  • Victorians can leave their home if they are not safe and seek help and support at an Orange Door or other family violence support service. If you or someone you know is at risk or experiencing family violence, call 000 in an emergency or safe steps 24/7 crisis service on 1800 015 188.  
  • The Partners in Wellbeing hotline (1300 375 330) is available for referrals from people who identify as LGBTIQ, multicultural, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, veterans and people experiencing homelessness.  

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