- Victoria recorded 723 new coronavirus cases and 13 more deaths on Thursday.
- Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed that many of these cases are linked to aged care, but also warned that workplaces were significant sites of transmission.
- Masks will be mandatory while outdoors across the whole state from 11:59pm on Sunday.
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Victoria recorded 723 new coronavirus cases and 13 more deaths on Thursday, the state’s highest-single day toll since the beginning of the pandemic.
The previous record, announced on Monday, was 532 infections. The death toll also surpassed the previous daily high of 10.
Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed 10 of the 13 deaths were connected to aged care facilities.
“Today is not a good day,” Andrews said in a statement. “And as the numbers show, this virus does not discriminate.”
The Premier confirmed that the significant spike in cases was linked to aged care, but warned about workplaces as a significant site of transmission.
“Too many people are going to work, even some when they have a positive test result,” he said.
“That’s a small number, though,” he continued. “I think a bigger number are people that are, between having the test taken and getting the results, they are still presenting to work. And for so long as that continues, then we will continue to see numbers go up.”
The Premier also announced that, from 11:59pm on Sunday, Melbourne’s mandatory mask rule would be extended to the rest of the state.
“I understand this will be a big step for some. But by covering your face, you’re protecting your community, and protecting those extra freedoms your community enjoys,” he said.
Additionally people in the Colac-Otway, Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Moorabool, Golden Plains and Borough of Queenscliffe council areas will no longer be able to visit people or host visitors in their homes.
The above council areas are not currently subject to the strict lockdowns imposed on Greater Melbourne.
“I know that it may seem, as I said, counterintuitive that you can go to the pub but you can’t go to your mate’s place, but ultimately that’s where the data drives that decision,” he said.
“That’s where the transmission is. It’s not in cafes and restaurants, but it is, in small numbers, in people’s homes. One family to another.”