Health alert – coronavirus update 22 March 2020

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Update
22 March 2020


Status: Active

Date issued: 22 March 2020

Issued by: Adjunct Clinical Professor Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer

Issued to: Clinicians and the Victorian public


What’s new

  • As of 0930hrs 22 March 2020, Victoria has 296 total confirmed cases, and no deaths.
  • Overnight the Prime Minister and the Chief Medical Officer announced significant new restrictions on gatherings. The Victoria Government will be working to implement these restrictions over the coming weeks and months.
  • Victoria will implement a shutdown of all non-essential activity across the state over the next 48 hours.
  • Essential services include health services, supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, petrol stations and convenience stores. Freight, logistics and home delivery are also considered essential and will remain open.
  • School holidays will be brought forward in Victoria, starting on Tuesday 24 March.

Key messages

  • People are prohibited from organising or attending non-essential mass gatherings, or to allow them to occur on premises they own, control or operate. Venues that don’t comply with these new directions on mass gatherings face fines of up to $100,000. People who don’t comply face fines of up to $20,000.
  • The Victorian Government is working with the Australian Government to ensure that all vital personal protective equipment supplies are appropriately distributed to where they are needed across the Victorian health system.
  • The Victorian Government has declared a State of Emergency in Victoria.
  • The State of Emergency provides the Chief Health Officer with powers to enforce 14-day quarantine for all Australians returning to Australia and to do whatever is necessary to contain the spread of the virus and reduce the risk to the health of Victorians.
  • Notification is required, by telephone, for all confirmed cases via 1300 651 160, immediately 24 hours per day.
  • From 9pm 20 March 2020, any Australians returning from any country outside Australia should now be considered at risk and are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • All close contacts of confirmed cases will be contacted by the department and told to home quarantine for 14 days. 

Read the full alert: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Update


Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.