19 June 2020
Date issued: 19 June 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.
- As of 19 June 2020, the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria is 1,792, an increase of 13 since yesterday’s report.
- Of the 13 new cases, two are linked to a new family outbreak, six linked to known outbreaks, one detected in a returned traveller in hotel quarantine, three identified through routine testing, and one remains under investigation. One previously notified case has been reclassified and removed from the overall total.
- 193 cases have been acquired in Victoria where the source of infection is unknown.
- Five people are in hospital, including two patients in intensive care. 19 people have died. 1,680 people have recovered.
- Of the total 1,792 cases, there have been 1,492 in metropolitan Melbourne and 239 in regional Victoria. Several cases remain under investigation.
- More than 635,000 test results have been received by the department since 1 January 2020.
- Further details on the latest cases can be found in today’s coronavirus (COVID-19) media release.
- Up-to-date epidemiological data is available on our website.
Current advice to clinicians
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 page.
- Any coronavirus test reported by a laboratory as having detected SARS-CoV-2 on PCR will be treated as positive for the purposes of public health actions, regardless of repeat testing of the sample. It is not appropriate to advise a patient that a test is a false positive without prior consultation with the department. Current processing time for COVID-19 tests is one to three days.
- An updated communique for Point of Care Testing has been released which includes an information on rapid, serological-based point of care tests. You can read this here.
- As the prevalence of COVID-19 remains low, practitioners are encouraged to consider testing for other infectious diseases as warranted by the patient’s clinical presentation and history, including travel history. Test for influenza in patients presenting with compatible respiratory symptoms and request a stool culture in patients presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection control training is available for healthcare workers in all settings from the Australian Department of Health. The online training covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for coronavirus (COVID-19). More information and registration for the training is available on the Australian Department of Health website.
- The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care also has e-learning modules on the principles of infection prevention and control in Australian healthcare settings. More information is available on the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website.
Key messages for the community
- Maintain physical distance from others and avoid crowds, wash your hands regularly and cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, stay home and get tested if you’re unwell.
- As restrictions ease, it remains important that if you can work from home, you should do so.
- More information on how to stay safe can be viewed at dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
Read the full update: Coronavirus COVID-19 daily update