Health alert – Coronavirus update from Chief Health Officer Victoria 29 June 2020

 

 

Coronavirus COVID-19

Daily Update

Date issued: 29 June 2020

Issued by: Adjunct Clinical Professor Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer

Issued to: Clinicians and the Victorian public

Purpose

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?

  • As of 29 June 2020, the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria is 2,099 an increase of 71 since yesterday’s report.
  • Of the 75 new cases today, 14 cases are linked to outbreaks, 37 were identified through routine testing, one in hotel quarantine and 23 remain under investigation. Four previous cases have been reclassified.
  • 271 cases have been acquired in Australia where the source of infection is unknown, an increase of six since yesterday’s report.
  • Nine people are in hospital, including one patient in intensive care. 20 people have died, no increase since yesterday’s report. 1,789 people have recovered.
  • Of the total 2,099 cases, there have been 1,772 in metropolitan Melbourne and 246 in regional Victoria. Several cases remain under investigation.
  • More than 792,000 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 can be found in today’s coronavirus (COVID-19) media release.
  • Up-to-date epidemiological data is available on our website.
  • Updates have been made to the health services and professionals section of our website for improved usability and content navigation.
  • From 28 June 2020, all returned travellers in hotel quarantine to must participate in testing for coronavirus on day 11 to be eligible for release after 14 days. Those who refuse to be tested will be required to remain in quarantine for an additional 10 days – 24 in total – to ensure they pose no risk of introducing coronavirus to the Victorian community.
  • Victoria will commence limited saliva testing in hotspots as part of department-led enhanced surveillance activities. Nasopharyngeal swabs collected by trained healthcare workers remains the gold standard test.  

Suburban testing blitz

  • A targeted blitz launched this week across ten priority suburbs to zero-in on community transmission with a fleet of mobile vans. 
  • Over 10 days, residents of these suburbs will receive free testing – with or without symptoms. Priority suburbs include Keilor Downs, Broadmeadows, Maidstone, Albanvale, Sunshine West, Hallam, Brunswick West, Fawkner, Reservoir and Pakenham, with Keilor Downs and Broadmeadows identified as the top two and focus of the next three days of testing. 
  • Residents of these suburbs should not seek asymptomatic testing from their General Practitioner, rather visit a site listed on our Getting tested webpage
  • People getting tested in hotspots who are asymptomatic and awaiting test results do not need to self-isolate. In line with existing guidance, if people feel unwell or have any of the coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms they should self-isolate.

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* 

OR 

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 (COVID-19) 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. Current processing time for coronavirus (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

  • For 10 days starting Thursday 25 June, if you live in one of the priority suburbs you will receive free testing – with or without symptoms. For more information on the Suburban Testing Blitz go to the Response to outbreaks page.
  • Asymptomatic people getting tested in hotspots during this time do not need to self-isolate.
  • If you feel unwell with any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should stay home and get tested. If you have any fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, and loss of sense of smell or taste – stay home, don’t go in to work and don’t visit friends and family. Get tested and stay at home until you get the result. Go to the DHHS testing map for locations.

Read the full update: Coronavirus COVID-19 daily update

 

 

 

Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.