Health alert – Coronavirus update from Chief Health Officer 22 May 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19
Daily Update

22 May 2020


Date issued: 22 May 2020

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

Issued to: Clinicians and the Victorian public



This Chief Health Officer update is intended to provide clinicians and the Victorian public with information about the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria as well as relevant public health response activities in Victoria. This update will be sent regularly.

Chief Health Officer Alerts will continue to be issued when there are changes to the public health advice related to COVID-19.


What’s New?

Developments in the outbreak

  • As of 22 May 2020, the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria is 1,593, a net increase of 12 since yesterday.
  • Of the 12 new confirmed cases, five are associated with the Cedar Meats outbreak, taking the total number of cases for this cluster to 111. Four cases were detected in hotel detention. Three other cases are under investigation, including two detected through community testing.
  • 171 cases have an unknown source of infection, an increase of three since yesterday.
  • 10 people are in hospital, including five people in intensive care. 18 people have died. 1,479 people have recovered.
  • Of the total 1,593 cases, there have been 1,324 in metropolitan Melbourne and 231 in regional Victoria. A number of cases remain under investigation.
  • There have been 181 confirmed cases in healthcare workers, with no increase since yesterday’s report.
  • More than 393,000 tests have been received by the department since 01 January 2020.
  • Up-to-date epidemiological data is available on our website.
  • Victoria’s state of emergency has been extended until 11.59pm on Sunday 31 May. New Directions were issued at 11.59pm Tuesday 12 May with some restrictions eased.
  • Members of the public who have been tested at a metropolitan retail testing site can call the dedicated Onsite Doctor Results Hotline on 03 8669 0255 if they have been waiting more than five days for results. This hotline opened on 18 May 2020 and will operate from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, until 5 June 2020 inclusive

Current advice to clinicians

  • Victoria is aiming to fully resume all elective surgery lists by the end of July 2020. Resuming the elective surgery blitz that was paused in early 2020 will then be considered.
  • Due to the current high volume of COVID-19 tests being processed, results may take longer than usual, up to five days.
  • Practitioners are encouraged to test any patients who meet the clinical criteria below:

    Fever OR chills in the absence of an alternative diagnosis that explains the clinical presentation*
    Acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or anosmia)

    Note: In addition, testing is recommended for people with new onset of other clinical symptoms consistent with COVID-19** AND who are close contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19; who have returned from overseas in the past 14 days; or who are healthcare or aged care workers.
    *Clinical discretion applies including consideration of the potential for co-infection (e.g. concurrent infection with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza)
    **headache, myalgia, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea. 

  • If referring your patients for COVID-19 testing, a list of testing locations can be found on the Getting tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) page.
  • All Victorian school staff with or without symptoms can access tests through the Victorian School Staff Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing Scheme until 26 May 2020. More information on this scheme is available at Education sector – coronavirus disease (COVID-19) page.

Key messages for the community

  • Victoria’s State of Emergency has been extended to 31 May, but some restrictions have been eased.
  • There are now five reasons to leave your home:
    • Shopping for food and supplies that you need
    • Care and caregiving
    • Exercise and outdoor recreation
    • Work and education – if you can’t do it from home
    • Visiting friends and family – if you really need to.

For more information, see Your coronavirus (COVID-19) questions answered

  • Staying apart keeps protecting the health system and saves lives.
  • Protect yourself from coronavirus (COVID-19) by washing your hands regularly with soap and water; and try not to touch your face, including your eyes, nose or mouth.


  • Medical practitioners needing clinical information or to notify confirmed cases can contact the Department of Health and Human Services Communicable Diseases Section on 1300 651 160 (24 hours). 

Read the full update: Coronavirus COVID-19 daily update

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