Date issued: 21 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 21 June 2020, the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria is 1,836, an increase of 19 since yesterday’s report.
- Of the 19 new cases four cases linked to known outbreaks, four detected in hotel quarantine, three identified through routine testing, and eight remain under investigation.
- 210 cases have been acquired in Australia where the source of infection is unknown.
- Seven people are in hospital, including two patients in intensive care. 19 people have died. 1,694 people have recovered.
- Of the total 1,836 cases, there have been 1,534 in metropolitan Melbourne and 239 in regional Victoria. Several cases remain under investigation.
- More than 660,000 test results have been received by the department since 1 January 2020.
- The Case and Contact Management guidelines for Health Services and General Practitioners was updated on 20 June. The update includes changes to the testing criteria, addition of a probable case definition and detail about release from isolation of a confirmed case.
- Notification is required, by telephone, for all confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19. The department is following-up all close contacts of confirmed cases.
- Based on current data, the Victorian Government has announced a tightening of restrictions from Sunday 21 June at 11:59 PM.
- Further details on the latest cases and changes to restrictions 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, anosmia or loss of smell or loss of taste)
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.
- Practitioners are encouraged to also 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.
- It remains important that if you can work from home, you must keep working from home.
- 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