Health alert – Coronavirus update from Chief Health Officer Victoria 16 May 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19
Daily Update

16 May 2020


Date issued: 16 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 16 May 2020, the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria is 1,554, an increase of 11 since yesterday.
  • Of the 11 new confirmed cases, one was detected among a returned traveller in mandatory hotel quarantine, two cases were linked to the Melbourne meat processing facility, one was linked to the McDonalds Fawkner outbreak and the remaining cases are under investigation.
  • 158 cases have an unknown source of infection, an increase of 4 since yesterday.
  • 11 people are in hospital, including 7 people in intensive care. 18 people have died.
  • There are currently 110 active cases in Victoria, a decrease of 2 since yesterday, and 1,417 people have recovered, an increase of 10 since yesterday.
  • Almost 324,000 tests have been processed to date, an increase of more than 14,000 since yesterday. .
  • Of the total 1,554 cases, there have been 1,283 in metropolitan Melbourne and 228 in regional Victoria. A number of cases remain under investigation
  • There have been 179 confirmed cases in healthcare workers, with no change since yesterday’s report.
  • 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 will be issued at 11.59pm Tuesday 12 May with restrictions gradually eased.

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 on the 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
  • 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. .

Clinical information

Health services and general practice – coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Consumer information

About Coronavirus (COVID-19) – information for the general public
World Health Organization – health topic – Coronavirus
Smartraveller website


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

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