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Coronavirus Victoria: Grim map reveals state's surging hotspots

A confronting map has offered grim insight into the severity of coronavirus infections in Victoria as the state braces for the possibility of heightened restrictions and a longer lockdown.

The state recorded 397 new cases and a further three deaths on Saturday, with premier Daniel Andrews highlighting a growing concern for “mystery cases” that can not be traced to an original source.

Melbourne and Mitchell Shire are about halfway through stage three restrictions, which are due to end in mid-August.

"We cannot open up with these numbers, we cannot open up with significantly less than these numbers," Premier Daniel Andrews said on Friday.

The map depicts the current restrictions in place for the entire state. Source: DHHS Victoria
The map depicts the current restrictions in place for the entire state. Source: DHHS Victoria

His warning came after it was revealed that an alarming number of Victorians with COVID are not staying home, with more than 100 referred to police.

He announced on Thursday that it would become mandatory on August 2 for people across the state to wear face coverings whenever they left their homes.

He also enforced from midnight on Thursday a complete ban on visiting others and hosting visitors for people in the local government areas of Colac-Otway, Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Moorabool, Golden Plains, and the Borough of Queenscliffe.

“And the simple truth is, the data. The data is telling us that outside work, this is the single greatest cause of transmission in these communities,” Mr Andrews said.

“People are visiting friends and family – and taking the virus home with them.”

An interactive map now live on the Department of Health’s website depicts restrictions in place across the state, given now no one is exempt from the tough measures.

Australian Defence Force personnel and public health officials visited more than 500 homes of positive cases on Thursday, but one in four were not there.

Mr Andrews said there was no excuse for people who have tested positive not to isolate.

Opposition leader Michael O'Brien said there should be harsher punishments for breaching isolation rules such as monitoring bracelets and higher fines.

Clinical waste removal personnel at St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner on Friday. Source: AAP
Clinical waste removal personnel at St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner on Friday. Source: AAP

Coronavirus: Aged care staff test positive

All 30 remaining residents at the hard-hit St Basil's aged care facility in Fawkner were moved to hospitals as replacement staff tested positive.

The move came after six St Basil's staff tested positive, prompting all other staff to go into self-isolation.

A Northern Hospital doctor in his 30s is battling the virus in intensive care at that hospital, making him one of three Melbourne doctors reportedly in ICU.

Staff at Cedar Meats are isolating again after a staff member, who last worked at the company's Brooklyn site on Wednesday, tested positive.

Close contacts were tested on Friday and all staff are isolating.

There are 5743 active cases and Victoria's total deaths now number 113, bringing the national figure to 197.

The postcode with the most active cases is 3029 with 346 cases across Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit and Truganina in Melbourne's west.

Health workers at St Basil’s on Friday. Source: AAP
Health workers at St Basil’s on Friday. Source: AAP

New mums given just one hour with newborns

Meanwhile, a midwifery professor has criticised a Melbourne private hospital for inadequately caring for its premature babies because of its COVID-19 measures.

Mothers of babies in the Epworth Freemasons special care nursery are currently allowed to be with their baby for just one hour, twice per day.

Sydney University midwifery academic Karleen Gribble said the reason seemed to be because there wasn't much space in the nursery, but this wasn't a good enough reason.

"If you are preventing a mother from being with her premature infant then you are not providing adequate care to that baby," Prof Gribble said.

Research proves that mother and baby need each other for physiological development, bringing in the mother's milk and for bonding, she said.

In a statement, Epworth Freemasons said it had to limit people and their length of visit but was "working with each family to ensure there is the right amount of time together for feeding and bonding".

With AAP

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