Victoria’s grim coronavirus milestone: 800th death is recorded in the embattled state after two more people die

  • Victoria has recorded 800 COVID-19 deaths after two more Victorians died
  • Thursday’s new cases bring Melbourne’s 14-day average down to 15.6
  • The Victorian government stood down private security in hotel quarantine 

By ALANA MAZZONI FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

PUBLISHED: 08:57 AEST, 1 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:58 AEST, 1 October 2020

Victoria has now recorded 800 COVID-19 deaths after two more people died overnight, amid fears a third wave will hit the embattled state.

Another 15 cases were also reported, bringing Melbourne’s 14-day average down to 15.6 infections, raising hopes the worst of its horror second wave is coming to an end.

But there have been 19 mystery cases in Melbourne recorded in the two weeks between September 15 and 28, meaning officials have no idea how people became infected.

Melbourne’s 14-day average needs to drop below five and there must be fewer than five mystery cases in a fortnight before the state further eases restrictions.  

Victoria has now recorded 800 COVID-19 deaths after two more people died amid fears a third wave will hit the embattled state (pictured, Melbourne's Princes Park on Monday)

Victoria has now recorded 800 COVID-19 deaths after two more people died amid fears a third wave will hit the embattled state (pictured, Melbourne’s Princes Park on Monday)The new cases, confirmed by the Department of Health and Human Services, bring Melbourne's 14-day average down to 15.6 (pictured, testing in Melbourne on September 18)

The new cases, confirmed by the Department of Health and Human Services, bring Melbourne’s 14-day average down to 15.6 (pictured, testing in Melbourne on September 18)

Premier Daniel Andrews has said this isn’t likely to happen until October 19.

The grim milestone comes a day after the Victorian government stood down private security in the state’s remodelled hotel quarantine program and sent in police to guard people.  

Staff employed by Spotless were replaced by police at the last remaining ‘hot’ quarantine site, the Novotel in Southbank, a Department of Justice and Community Safety spokeswoman confirmed. 

The hotel quarantine program, which has been blamed for sparking the state’s devastating second wave, is now being run by the Department of Justice, while Alfred Health has been contracted to provide clinical services. 

The change followed a healthcare worker expressing concerns that contracted security guards could lead to further outbreaks that could trigger a dreaded third wave in Victoria.

‘I can see it happening all over again,’ the health worker, whose name was retracted over fears she could lose her job, told The Age.

Premier Daniel Andrews said Melbourne's 14-day average dropping below five isn't likely to happen until October 19

Premier Daniel Andrews said Melbourne’s 14-day average dropping below five isn’t likely to happen until October 19.

Expert behind Dan Andrews’ lockdown CAN’T guarantee no third wave

‘When [international] flights start again, we (Victoria) will be screwed.’ 

Despite changes to the program, nine people working at the Brady and Grand Chancellor hotels have contracted the virus since July 27.

One works for the Department of Health and Human Services, another is a Victoria Police member, two are staff members from Alfred Health and five are from Spotless.

The Department of Justice has said none contracted the virus at the hotels.

The hotel quarantine inquiry is making inquiries about the infections.

International flights will remain diverted from Victoria until the inquiry releases its final report on November 6.

MELBOURNE’S ROADMAP OUT OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN – WHAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO AND WHEN:

Step one: Came into effect on September 14 

Step two: Came into effect on September 28 

Step three: When there is a daily statewide average of five new cases over the past 14 days. The original aim was for October 26 but that has been brought forward to October 19 after the 14-day average of new cases fell below initial expectations

Step four: The move to step four will come when there have been no new COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on November 23 

COVID Normal: 

After 28 days of no new COVID-19 cases, things will return to normal. 

FREEDOMS YOU GET AT EACH STEP OF EASING 

Step one – came into effect September 14 

 Curfew has been eased to 9pm-5am

 People can still only leave home for the four reasons (shopping, exercise, work and care or medical attention)

 Public gatherings increased to two people, or a household, for a maximum of two hours

 Singles can have one nominated person to their home as part of the ‘singles social bubble’ 

 Childcare and early educators to remain closed

 Schools will continue to learn remotely unless they have exemptions

 Adult education to continue to be done remotely, unless they have exemption

 Only go to work if you are in a permitted industry 

– Cafes and restaurants will continue with take away only

– Retail businesses will remain open for essential shopping, with others only operating with click and collect

– Only one person per household can do the essential shopping 

Step two – came into effect September 28

 Melbourne’s curfew lifted

– Public gatherings increase again to five people from a maximum of two households

 Childcare and early educators can re-open

 Schools to continue with remote learning, but Prep to Grade Two and Year 11 and Year 12 students will gradually return to class in Term 4 

 There will be an increase to permitted workplaces

Step three – originally expected October 26, brought forward to October 19 

 There are no restrictions on leaving home

 Public gatherings increase to 10 people together outdoors

 A ‘household bubble’ will be introduced, so five people from one house can visit another 

 Remote learning to continue, but Grades 3 to Year 11 can gradually return to class

– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, but hands on classes will see a phased return to onsite 

 Work from home is encouraged

– Up to 10 people can eat together at restaurants and cafes, with the majority of tables outdoor

– Retail shops to reopen, with hairdresses operating under safety measures but beauty stores to remain closed

– Real estate agents can conduct private inspections by appointment

– The one person per household limit on shopping is to be revoked 

Step four – expected in November, dependent on new case numbers:

 Public gatherings to increase to 50 people outdoors

 Up to 20 visitors can attend a home at any one time

 All adult education will return to onsite with safety measures in place

– Groups limited to 20 indoors and a maximum of 50 patrons per venue

– All retail stores to reopen, while real estate agents can operate with safety measures and by keeping a record of attendants

Step five – COVID normal:

 Public gatherings have no restriction

 There will also be no restriction on visitors to homes

– Phased return to onsite work for work from home workers

  Schools to reopen as normal

– Restrictions on hospitality removed, but venues to continue keeping records 

Comment:

Watching this state come out of curfews and lockdown is like pulling teeth.