News State Victoria News Melbourne lockdown targets appear out of reach as virus cases plateau

Melbourne lockdown targets appear out of reach as virus cases plateau

victoria virus lockdown change
The decline in Melbourne's COVID cases has stalled this week, making it unlikely it will meet key targets to emerge from lockdown. Photo: Getty
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Virus cases in Victoria have plateaued with a near identical update on Friday to Thursday – 11 more infections and no more deaths.

Melbourne’s all-important 14-day average has nudged down further with Friday’s data, to sit at 9.4.

It was 9.7 on Thursday.

Under the state government’s plan to reopen Victoria from October 19, the rolling average must hit five – a target that appears now to need fewer than five cases every day. In the past week, there have been four days with double-figure jumps in new infections.

Melbourne’s past-fortnight record of mystery cases, which must also fall below five, was down two to 12 on Friday.

No new fatalities – for the third day this week – means Victoria’s coronavirus toll remains at 809. Nationwide, 895 people have died.

Despite the likelihood of the city missing its virus targets, Premier Daniel Andrews has already signalled there are some amendments ahead from next weekend.

On Thursday, he said it was “highly unlikely that nothing will change” from October 19.

“There will be some changes, the exact nature of those changes we will need to look at,” he said.

Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Allen Cheng, meanwhile, said there would be a “day-by-day assessment of the situation”.

“Every unknown source case represents at least one person who gave it to them, so we still are concerned about that,” Professor Cheng said on Thursday.

“That’s, I think, the figure that concerns me most at this stage.”

Mr Andrews will give more details at a briefing later on Friday.

  • See a full is of the latest high-risk Victorian locations here

Victoria is also battling two concerning outbreaks of the coronavirus. State health officials confirmed on Thursday that there are 11 cases are linked to Box Hill Hospital, in Melbourne’s east.

The cluster has grown to include two staff members and one patient. The facility was the site of an earlier outbreak in mid-July.

An investigation has been launched and contact tracers deployed to contain the cluster.

“All appropriate public health actions are being undertaken, including cleaning, testing and quarantining,” a department statement said.

Authorities are also tackling a much larger outbreak linked to the Butcher Club at Chadstone Shopping Centre, which has infected 31 people and spread to Frankston in the south-east and the regional town of Kilmore in the north.

The Kilmore cluster began when a person infected with COVID-19 linked to the Chadstone outbreak dined at the town’s Oddfellows Cafe, in a breach of restrictions, on September 30.

More than 200 people who visited the cafe between September 30 and October 3 are self-isolating after a staff member contracted the virus.

Nearly 500 people have been tested in Kilmore since Tuesday, with an additional positive case linked to the cafe announced on Thursday.

In a post on The Oddfellows Cafe’s Facebook page, the business confirmed a second staff member had tested positive along with a confirmed case of a family member.

Elsewhere, NSW issued a host of public health alerts on Wednesday and Thursday after four mystery cases emerged to break its run of nearly two weeks without community transmission of the virus.

  • See a full list of the latest NSW venues of concern here

-with AAP