Date issued: 24 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 24 June 2020, the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria is 1,884, an increase of 20 since yesterday’s report.
- Of the 20 new cases, seven cases are linked to known outbreaks, one was detected in hotel quarantine, nine were identified through routine testing, and three remain under investigation.
- 241 cases have been acquired in Australia where the source of infection is unknown, an increase of eight since yesterday’s report.
- Seven people are in hospital, including two patients in intensive care. 20 people have died, an increase of one since yesterday’s report. 1,721 people have recovered.
- Of the total 1,884 cases, there have been 1,588 in metropolitan Melbourne and 241 in regional Victoria. Several cases remain under investigation.
- More than 696,000 test results have been received by the department since 1 January 2020.
- The State of Emergency has been extended until 11.59pm on 19 July.
- 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.
- The Victorian Government is working with health providers, local councils and community groups in areas with current outbreaks to support communities. This includes establishing community engagement teams to improve understanding of coronavirus (COVID-19) and to encourage people to get tested.
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.
Key messages for the community
- Community Engagement Teams (CETs) are being established as part of Victorian Government efforts to intensify its response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
- 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