Victoria records 76 new coronavirus cases and 11 overnight deaths
Victoria has recorded another 76 cases of coronavirus and 11 overnight deaths.
The double-digit tally follows 81 new cases of coronavirus and 59 deaths on Friday, following a delay in the reporting of aged care fatalities in July and August.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said six deaths of the 11 announced deaths occurred in the last 24 hours while five people died prior to yesterday, "but in recent days".
"Those numbers are being reconciled as they come to us. We report them as soon as we are in a position to do so," he said.
Mr Andrews said there was just one new case with an unknown source and 286 healthcare workers who were listed as active cases.
The total number of active cases across the state had now fallen to 1956.
Mr Andrews said there were now only 102 active cases in regional council area where people are living under stage three restrictions.
"It is good to see these numbers continue to fall. It is good to see that the strategy continues to be successful," he said.
"Obviously, at 76 new cases, that is still a really significant challenge for us. And to open up with those numbers would, of course, see the total number of coronavirus infections explode."
Mr Andrews is due to outline the government's plan for easing restrictions on Sunday and said Victorians would need to be patient so that contact tracing systems were not overwhelmed by caseloads in a new wave.
"As frustrating, as challenging as it is, we need to stay the course on this. That's why tomorrow we will outline a road map to ease these important restrictions, to ease out of the second wave, once it's appropriately and properly defeated, truly defeated," he said.
"So that we can be sure that the settings we lock in can be defended. There will be outbreaks, there will be hopefully very small numbers of additional cases in the weeks and months to come.
"But that's gotta be a fair fight. Pretending that any contact tracing team anywhere in the world could keep numbers low, when you start from a high base, particularly a high base in terms of mystery cases, that doesn't do any of us any good."
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said Saturday's figures represented a "slow and steady decline" and renewed his call for people with coronavirus symptoms to get tested.
"It is heading in the right direction. It's too slow for all of us… [it's] too slow for me, but it is going in the right direction. It is some light at the end of a very long tunnel," he said.
Professor Sutton said the cases in metropolitan Melbourne were concentrated in just a couple of dozen local government areas in the city's north and west and in the south-east.
"So, again, if you have compatible symptoms – a runny nose, a tickly throat, headache, cough, fever – please get tested. We've seen reasonable numbers of testing in the last couple of days, but we do need to keep that up," he said.
Professor Sutton said cases in Colac were the only regional infections today and that many regional councils would not see new cases.
"That said, there might be cases out there, so do not be complacent and think that there isn't the possibility of cases being introduced into your postcode, if you're in regional Victoria, get tested if you're symptomatic," he said.
More to come.
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