Premier Daniel Andrews will announce a ‘roadmap out of lockdown in Victoria’ on Sunday but said stage four restrictions may not be lifted in two weeks.
Victoria has recorded its highest death toll yet with 41 fatalities and 73 new cases of coronavirus on Monday.
The figures, confirmed by the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday, bring the state’s toll from the virus to 565 and the national total to 652.
Monday’s number includes 33 deaths in the weeks leading up to August 27, but were only reported to Victoria Health by aged care facilities on Sunday.
This means 8 people died in the 24 hours to Monday. The previous highest daily toll was 25 on August 17.
Of the deaths there were three males in their 70s, three females in their 70s and one female in her 100s.
The spike of fatalities come with just 73 new cases of COVID-19 after Victoria recorded 114 new cases on Sunday and 11 deaths.
Victoria has recorded its deadliest day with 41 deaths and 73 new cases of coronavirus reported on Monday (pictured, residents wearing face masks go for a walk in Melbourne on Saturday)
The figures, confirmed by the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday, bring the state’s toll from the virus to 565 and the national total to 652
Victoria’s Police Association on Monday called for state of emergency powers to be extended (pictured: people walking through Southbank on Saturday)
There are currently 453 Victorians in hospital and 21 people are receiving intensive care, with 13 of those on a ventilator.
Up to 14,435 tests were conducted on Sunday and there are 4,338 cases with an unknown source.
As of Monday there are 2,620 active cases across the state.
‘There are 378 healthcare workers who were active cases so those numbers continue to fall,’ Premier Daniel Andrews said on Monday.
‘I will take this opportunity to thank and to congratulate every single member of our health workforce who are working so hard to provide care and attention and love and support to every patient, every resident, every client that needs that care and support, and we send our best wishes to those who have contracted this virus and wish them well.’
The premier has announced a restrictions roadmap that will be put forward on Sunday, after another week of data has been recorded.
‘We will announce the roadmap to ease the restrictions we have all been living under,’ he said.
‘It is too early today to settle that roadmap and to lock that in as it were.’
‘Another week’s data is critically important to make sure that the strategy continues to work and for us to have a better sense of how long it will take to drive these numbers down to very, very low numbers so that they can be contained without the need to put restrictions back on over not just weeks and months.’
‘These case numbers are too high for us to open up, and they are still too high for us to put forward a definitive plan,’ he said.
‘There will be a plan. It will come soon. But it will be one that we can be confident of, not something that potentially gets a few people being happier.’
Premier Daniel Andrews said on Sunday the number of cases were still too high to roll back restrictions
There are currently 453 Victorians in hospital and 21 people are receiving intensive care, with 13 of those on a ventilator
Mr Andrews said there were a ‘number of key principles’ in relation to the roadmap which will ‘add to the enormous number of meetings and discussions that were held with businesses and unions’.
‘There will be a number of key principles that underpin this opening up roadmap,’ he said.
Physical distancing and density requirements will be taken into consideration, and the priority of getting people back to work.
The premier also said face coverings will need to be worn at all times and hygiene needs to be adhered to in workplaces.
Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said the 41 deaths reported date back to July.
‘There are Commonwealth reporting obligations, state reporting processes, and we need to reconcile those cases, so that whatever the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre is reporting is absolutely consistent,’ he said on Monday.
Victoria’s Police Association on Monday called for state of emergency powers to be extended.
It comes as negotiations continue between the state government and crossbenchers over what should happen when the current state of emergency provisions expire on September 13.
Melburnians are subject to another fortnight of strict stage four restrictions including an 8pm to 5am curfew and Mr Andrews said the benefits from the first four weeks are starting to show.
Melbourne residents ignored warnings and enjoyed the sun over the weekend (one resident pictured walking her dog on Saturday)
The premier has announced a restrictions roadmap that will be put forward on Sunday, after another week of data has been recorded
Regional Victorians are under slightly less strict stage three restrictions for the same period.
Last week Mr Andrews sparked controversy when he announced the government had plans to extend the powers by 12 months to help deal with coronavirus.
With the opposition immediately saying it would not support the proposal, the government was forced into negotiations with crossbenchers.
There has been talk of a compromise, with the extension reduced to six months, but there is no confirmation ahead of parliament returning on Tuesday.
On Monday the police association, a powerful lobby group, released a statement on the issue.
‘With 13 days to run on this current state of emergency, it is essential that parliament moves to maintain the framework that provides police and PSOs (public safety officers) with the capacity to help Victoria safely come out of lockdown,’ it said.
‘There can be no adequate plan for a return to some normality, if the framework designed to ensure it’s done safely and incrementally, is removed.
Police officers are seen outside Flinders Street Station in Melbourne patrolling the city over the weekend
Last week Mr Andrews sparked controversy when he announced the government had plans to extend the powers by 12 months to help deal with coronavirus
‘This issue is above politics. The safety of our community and our members in this precarious time is too important.’
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said on Monday morning it was difficult to see Melbourne coming out of its stage-four restrictions on September 13, given the current numbers.
New cases dropped to 94 on Saturday but were back to 114 on Sunday before Monday’s drop to 73.
‘It’s hard to see that happening,’ Dr Coatsworth told Nine Network.
‘I think the numbers need to be a lot less than they are now.’
Dr Coatsworth compared the state to NSW and Queensland, which are recording less than 10 new daily cases.
Restrictions across Melbourne are due to expire on September 13 but will be reduced gradually rather than removed completely.
Health officials have indicated that recommendations for face masks could remain in place for several more months.