Victoria has recorded another 217 coronavirus cases, with two more deaths overnight. The infection figures are well down on yesterday’s record high.

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak

Follow today’s events as they unfold.

Live updates14mminutes agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 3:10am

By Jon Healy

Mill Park call centre confirms four cases

Four staff members at a call centre operated by Serco in Mill Park, a suburb in Melbourne’s north, have tested positive to coronavirus in the past week.

       

Serco said the first worker notified the company about their positive diagnosis on July 11, and the latest case was confirmed yesterday.

          

In a statement, Serco said seating arrangements indicated the four staff members were not close contacts at work, and said it didn’t know whether the cases were linked.

            

“Our staff perform important essential government services every day and their diligence and professionalism at this time is ensuring that those services continue whilst we manage some of the challenges of the current environment,” a spokesperson said.

          

Serco said there was deep a clean after each positive result.

28mminutes agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 2:56am

By Michael Doyle

Cases linked to AshburtonCan you provide the details of the outbreak that was mentioned in Ashburton? Thanks

-Worried!

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, said there are currently five cases of coronavirus linked to the Clever Kids Childcare in Ashburton. 

40mminutes agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 2:44am

By Jon Healy

Key EventTwo more Victorians dead amid 217 new cases

Summing up some key points from that press conference with Premier Daniel Andrews, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos and Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton…

Two people have died – a man and a woman, both in their 80sThere have been 217 new cases in the state. Eleven of those are connected to known cases, one is in quarantine and 205 are still under investigation.The hard lockdown at the public housing tower at Alfred Street ends tonight at 11:59pm, but about one-third of the residents will stay locked down due to known contacts with positive cases.Mr Andrews wanted to stress the importance and meaning of stay-at-home orders: “Stay at home means stay at home, unless you need to go out, and then only for the things that you absolutely need – food shopping, getting care, giving care, going to work, all of that is fine but only if you need to. If you can work from home you must work from home. If you don’t necessarily need additional supplies then you should not be going out to get those additional supplies. I know and understand it’s frustrating, it is challenging. We’d all rather be in a very different position, but we can’t ignore the reality that we face, nor can we be finding [and] inventing reasons to travel a long way from home. Whether you are in Broadmeadows or Brighton, stay at home means stay at home.”Nobody from Melbourne or Mitchell Shire should be going outside those areas into regional Victoria, Mr Andrews says.Today’s total number of new cases described as “a relief” by Dr Sutton after Friday’s tally up over 400.Dr Sutton says wearing a mask is simple and “a small sacrifice to make” and calls on people to wear masks whenever they’re going to a public indoor space.Victorian Government looking into what would prompt Stage 4 restrictions and exactly what that would look like.42mminutes agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 2:42am

By Michael Doyle

Andrews ‘not considering’ changing rules for inmates 

 

Mr Andrews has said he is not considering changes to allow “low-risk” inmates to leave prison early. 

 

Earlier, some legal professions suggested inmates who are non-violent and considered low-risk should be removed from prisons due to fears of the spread of COVID-19

 

When asked on Saturday, Mr Andrews said he was not considering the matter. 

 

“I’m not considering issues of correctional, or criminal justice policy or any kind of reform in that area. We have a lot of other things to focus on,” he said. 

51mminutes agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 2:33am

By Michael Doyle

110 people in Victorian hospitals

 

Professor Sutton announced this afternoon that there are 110 people in hospital because of coronavirus. 

 

25 people in intensive care, with 18 patients on ventilators. 

 

All of these numbers are less than yesterday. 

55mminutes agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 2:29am

By Michael Doyle

11 new cases are healthcare workers, three aged care homes record infections

 

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, has announced 11 of the new cases are healthcare workers. 

 

This takes the total number of healthcare workers to contract the virus to 405.

 

There are also three aged-care facilities that have recorded new cases of COVID-19:

 

Bethlehem Aged Care, Bendigo Bill Crawford Lodge, BallaratBupa Aged Care, Edithvale1hhour agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 2:23am

By Michael Doyle

New testing site opens in Ballarat 

 

Victoria’s Helath Minister, Jenny Mikakos, has announced a new coronavirus testing site at the Ballarat Senior Citizens Centre. 

 

“It is important that those regional communities do wear a mask, and do get tested even if they have mild symptoms,” she said. 

1hhour agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 2:19am

By Michael Doyle

Alfred St tower lockdown ends tonight

 

The lockdown of the Alfred St public housing tower will end at 11:59pm AEST. 

 

Mr Andrews said some residents will still need to stay isolated.

 

“I want to be really clear with residents and with the broader community that that lockdown doesn’t and for every single resident. 

 
“There are a number of people, maybe as many as one-third of those residents who are either those contacts of somebody who has tested positive for someone who has tested positive while that lockdown has been in place, so they still have days where they need to be in their residence and nowhere else.

 
“But while that 14 day lockdown ends tonight, the notion of quarantine or the notion of being isolated in your residence, that will not end for a number of people for a number of days to come.

 

“And that means that’s no different to any other resident, regardless of their landlord or their postcard anywhere in metropolitan Melbourne.”  

 

1hhour agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 2:14am

By Michael Doyle

Everyone needs to play their part: Andrews

 

Mr Andrews has again made a plea to Victorians who do not following health restrictions. 

 

“Everyone needs to play their part and I am deeply grateful to everyone who is. 

 
“Victoria Police are out there in force and they will issue fines for people who are making choices that are much more about them than everybody else. 

 
“We’re just not in a place where people can do that. We all need to work together. 

 
“We will need to be focused on the task at hand and that’s driving these numbers down further, having a sense of control, and then being able to get past this second wave and move into a set of circumstances where we can open up the economy more, where we can have the numbers at such a low rate that we are confident we cannot only suppress them but essentially contained them at that very, very low level.” 

1hhour agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 2:10am

By Michael Doyle

Victoria conducts more than 28,000 tests

 

Premier Daniel Andrews has told reporters that 28,104 tests were conducted yesterday. 

 

“So our testing rate per hundred thousand is getting quite closed to 20,000 tests per 100,000, which is quite an amazing effort and we are deeply grateful to every single Victorian has come forward over this long journey to get tested.”

1hhour agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 2:07am

By Michael Doyle

Key EventVictoria records 217 new cases, two dead

 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced 217 new cases of coronavirus in the state.

 

This takes the state’s total number of cases to 5353, with 2608 of those currently acrive.

 

Two more people have died from coronavirus.

1hhour agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 2:00am

By Michael Doyle

Daniel Andrews expected to speak shortly

 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to speak shortly. 

 

You can watch the press conference live on the ABC News live stream at the top of the page. 

 

Many of you are hoping for good news from Victoria. I share your sentiment. 

 

Hi MD, Gr8 work!I have a feeling the numbers would be down today. (Well hoping). We need to beat this and get on top. Fingers crossed!

-Shaan

1hhour agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 1:49am

By Michael Doyle

What are your thoughts on a ‘hard border’ around Melbourne? 

 

Another major story this morning is Victorian MP Damian Drum calling for a hard border around Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire.

 

The story has generate plenty of comments. 

 

I live in a regional town in Victoria. Pre- covid, one of the big selling points of our city was how liveable it is- you can still enjoy regional Victoria living while commuting to Melbourne for work by car or train. Now that we are in a pandemic, people everywhere seem to be screaming for a hard border between Melbourne and regional Vic. Some jobs simply can’t be done remotely. I don’t want cases of covid in my city any more than the next person but I’m not sure what commuters are expected to do. It’s not like people can’t just quit their job or stop turning up to work. Not everyone is eligible for job keeper and people still have to eat. Have some compassion. (And no, I don’t commute, but I can see both sides).

-Feeling a little frustrated today

 

I agree. There should be a hard border around Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire. The consequences of a rapid or large spread into regional Victoria would be catastrophic. This should be enough reason for the Victorian government to act and act now.

-Roger Sawley

 

Regarding the Metro/Mitchell hard border recommendation, as someone living at the top end of Mitchell Shire I fully agree. We are a thoroughfare for the northern corridor, and the amount of travel across the “border” is crazy. Heathcote is a shopping area for many in this area, but with cafes etc open the temptation for many is too great. How many are crossing these checkpoints a day? How many are coming into it twice daily bringing their kids to schools inside the lockdown area? How many are leaving it for the same reason? Work? There is still too much intermingling for the lockdown area to be effective.All of my family live outside the lockdown, and it doesn’t feel nice not being able to see them. But it would feel a lot worse if covid-19 exploded through their areas because people can’t be trusted to keep their germs to themselves.Lock down the whole state, or put a hard border around the existing lockdown area.

-Mitchell Shire resident

 

Can I just lend support to calls from Mr Drum for a genuine hard border. Living in Baw Baw, I’m close to the border, and the only place being patrolled is the Freeway, other roads are not checked, and it is pretty easy for people to sneak in and out.

-Country Pumpkin

1hhour agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 1:35am

By Michael Doyle

Where you can exercise if you live in Metro Melbourne or Mitchell Shire

For our bloggers in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire who are wondering if and where they can exercise, this is for you. 

2hhours agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 1:22am

By Michael Doyle

Queensland records zero new cases

 

Queensland has not recorded any new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours. 

 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on social media the news this morning. 

 

Twitter: Annastacia Palaszczuk2hhours agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 1:17am

By Jon Healy

Key Event45 cases tied to Crossroads Hotel cluster in NSWThere were 15 new cases overnight, bringing the state’s total to 3,361.There are now 45 cases tied to the Crossroads Hotel in Casula.There was an additional case linked to the Planet Fitness gym at Casula, making it eight now, all of whom went there on July 8. People who were there between July 4 and 10 should notify health officials, get tested and isolate for 14 days regardless of test results.Two confirmed cases went to the bistro at the Soldiers Club at Batemans Bay. Anyone who was there between 7:00pm and 9:30pm on July 13 should isolate for 14 days even if you get a negative test.Anyone who was at Albion Park McDonalds on July 15 from 2:00pm and 2:30pm should watch for symptoms.2hhours agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 1:15am

By Michael Doyle

Daniel Andrews to speak at midday  

The Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, is expected to speak at 12:00pm AEST.

2hhours agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 1:12am

By Michael Doyle

Gym, fast food outlet, among places linked to new cases

NSW health authorities have warned the following places have been linked to new COVID-19 cases.

 

Planet Fitness Gym at CasulaSoldiers Club at Batemans BayMcDonald’s at Albion ParkThai Rock restaurant at Wetherill Park

 

“Watch carefully for symptoms and if they develop any respiratory symptoms, coughs, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath or fever, to come immediately forward for testing and isolate themselves,” Jeremy McAnulty, NSW deputy chief health officer, said. 

2hhours agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 1:07am

By Michael Doyle

NSW records 15 new cases of coronavirus

 

New South Wales has recorded 15 new cases of coronavirus. 

 

There are now 45 cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel at Casula. 

 

The total number of cases in the state is now 3361.

 

2hhours agoSatSaturday 18 JulJuly 2020 at 12:56am

By Michael Doyle

What happens when you test positive for COVID-19

 

Getty

 

During this pandemic, there are a lot more questions than answers. 

 

Many of us I am sure have wondered — what happens if I get coronavirus?

 

ABC science reporter Suzannah Lyons has put together an excellent piece on what happens when a positive test is returned. 

 

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