Victoria’s coronavirus cases have spiked to 76, with 11 more deaths added to the state’s pandemic toll.
Wednesday’s tally of new infections was the highest since Saturday and reverses a welcome recent trend heading towards the daily average of 30-50 that is crucial for the state’s path out of COVID restrictions.
Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton has previously acknowledged that Wednesdays often bring a spike in infections.
With the latest fatalities, the coronavirus has claimed the lives of 694 Victorians. The national toll is 781.
Victoria’s COVID cases, past seven days
- September 3 – 113
- September 4 – 81
- September 5 – 76
- September 6 – 63
- September 7 – 41
- September 8 – 55
- September 9 – 76
Premier Daniel Andrews will give more details at a briefing later on Wednesday.
Despite the spike, the latest daily figure will still help to drag down Melbourne’s all-important 14-day average of new cases.
A fortnight ago, on August 26, the Victoria had 149 new COVID cases – the majority of them in the city. Because it is lower than that, Wednesday’s tally will still help to reduce the combined 14-day average.
On Tuesday, the state health department confirmed metropolitan Melbourne’s 14-day average was 78.6.
The rolling 14-day figure is crucial to the two paths out of restrictions for Melbourne and regional Victoria. Some Melbourne workplaces and schools will be able to reopen from September 28 if the average drops below 50.
Regional Victoria’s 14-day average is sitting at 4.9 – below its “third step” threshold, which also requires a fortnight without a “mystery” case.
Epidemiologist Adrian Esterman predicts Victoria should be down to 20 cases a day in two weeks if current trends continue.
- See the Victorian government’s plan for reopening the state here
Elsewhere, in the face of criticism from the Prime Minister, Mr Andrews said a team of officials would visit NSW this week to look at that state’s contact tracing system.
“NSW are dealing with very small numbers of cases,” he said on Tuesday.
“That’s a different challenge to dealing with hundreds and thousands.
“They may have some insights into what we can expect to confront. Not right now, but in three weeks, four weeks, five weeks’ time.”
Asked if the NSW contact tracing system could have contained Victoria’s hotel quarantine outbreak, federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said: “Yes, that’s my belief.”
Professor Sutton told Melbourne radio 3AW he wished the system was as “robust” then as it is now, but couldn’t say if NSW’s team would have stopped the second wave.