|Date issued: 17 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.
Developments in the outbreak
- As of 17 May 2020, the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria is 1,561, an increase of seven since yesterday.
- Of the seven new confirmed cases, three were detected among a returned traveller in mandatory hotel quarantine, two cases were linked to the Melbourne meat processing facility, and the remaining cases are under investigation.
- 160 cases have an unknown source of infection, an increase of two since yesterday.
- 11 people are in hospital, including seven people in intensive care. 18 people have died.
- There are currently 117 active cases in Victoria, an increase of seven since yesterday, and 1,417 people have recovered, no change since yesterday.
- Of the total 1,561 cases, there have been 1,285 in metropolitan Melbourne and 228 in regional Victoria. A number of cases remain under investigation.
- There have been 180 confirmed cases in healthcare workers, an increase of one since yesterday’s report.
- 338,219 tests have been performed to date, an increase of more than 14,249 since yesterday.
- 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.
A staged re-opening for cafes and restaurants from 1 June 2020
- From 1 June, cafes, restaurants and pubs will be able to re-open their doors to serve meals to up to 20 customers at a time per enclosed space.
- All venues will need to abide by existing physical distancing requirements of one person per four square metres. Table spacing (allowing 1.5 metres) will also be enforced.
- Venues will be required to take the contact details of every customer to assist in rapid contact tracing. Provision of this information is a condition of entry for all patrons.
- Other safety precautions will also be required, including extra cleaning, staff health screening and temperature checks.
- Before moving to each stage, key factors such as the state’s rate of community transmission and ability to test, trace and respond to possible outbreaks will be considered
- More information is available at: dhhs.vic.gov.au/reopening-restaurants-and-cafes
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 www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/gradual-easing-restrictions-covid-19.
- 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. .
Health services and general practice – coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
About Coronavirus (COVID-19) – information for the general public
World Health Organization – health topic – Coronavirus
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).
Keep informed of emergencies affecting the health sector and critical public health issues impacting your work.
Subscribe now to information including Chief Health Officer Updates and emergency advice from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Follow the Chief Health Officer on Twitter
Subscribe to the COVID-19 stakeholder newsletter
Read the full update: Coronavirus COVID-19 daily update
Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.