Two new coronavirus cases confirmed in Mildura

MILDURA has confirmed two new coronavirus cases after the Victorian Deparment of Health and Human Services released its latest figures on Sunday afternoon.

It brings Mildura’s total number of cases to three. Swan Hill also had a case confirmed on Sunday during a weekend that saw the total in regional Victoria rise sharply to 139.

Sunday’s new figures came after the Sunraysia Daily revealed on Saturday that a Red Cliffs teacher and her daughter had been returned positive tests during the week.

Vikki Arthur, who teaches at Red Cliffs Secondary College, became frustrated with reports of just one case in the area, after her 25-year-old daughter was diagnosed with the virus last Monday.

Until Sunday, the department website still listed the Mildura municipality as having only one confirmed case.

Ms Arthur was notified by the DHHS on Friday morning that she had also tested positive.

DHHS said it was "working around the clock" to provide accurate information about cases to the public.

"We release the information as soon as we can, ensuring that the confidentiality of the patient is not compromised," it said in a statement.

total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Victoria is now 769, an increase of 84 from Saturday.

The latest data from the NSW Health Department says there are no confirmed cases in Far West NSW.

Victoria has now recorded four deaths related to COVID-19, with one death recorded overnight, a man in his 80’s in a Melbourne hospital. The total number of cases includes 419 men and 346 women, with people aged from 3 to 88.

There are 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria that may have been acquired through community transmission. More than 39,000 Victorians have been tested to date.

Currently 26 people are in hospital, including four patients in intensive care, 193 people have recovered.

A number of cases remain under investigation.

The Department of Health and Human Services follows up and monitors all close contacts of confirmed cases and provides them with information and support. All close contacts must self-isolate for 14 days.

All people arriving from any international destination must also self-isolate for 14 days as per Commonwealth Government direction. From midnight last night (28 March), all travelers returning from overseas to Victoria will be placed in enforced quarantine for the self-isolation period of 14 days.

While most Victorians are voluntarily complying with requests to quarantine and self-isolate, Police have strong powers to enforce the direction if it’s required. Police can now issue on the spot fines for anyone who is not following the directions of the Chief Health Officer including up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses.

Under the State of Emergency people who don’t comply could also be taken to court and receive a fine of up to $20,000. Companies face fines of up to $100,000.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said these are unprecedented times. The threat of coronavirus to public health is real and everyone must take social distancing seriously.

“Everyone who’s unwell must isolate themselves and everyone who’s been told they’re in quarantine either as a returned traveller or close contact must do so,” Professor Sutton said.

“Social distancing will save lives. Everyone needs to comply with restrictions in place to keep yourself, your loved ones and the whole community safe.

“We urge everyone to stay 1.5 metres away from everyone else, wash your hands often with soap and water and cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.”

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has a hotline for public information on COVID-19 which is 1800 675 398. Large numbers of calls will result in some delays and we ask Victorians for their patience as we work to manage the volume. Further information is also available at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus