Victoria has announced more than 450 new coronavirus cases for the 24-hour period to Friday.
It is the second day the troubled state has recorded a new daily cases figure in the 400s after announcing 471 new daily cases on Thursday, following a grim record of 725 on Wednesday.
There have been another 11 deaths from COVID-19 in the state, with seven of those linked to aged care facilities. None were under the age of 50.
“One female in her 50s, two males in their 70s, three males and three females in their 80s, and two females in their 90s,” Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters Friday.
The latest figure brings the state's coronavirus death toll to 181 and the national figure to 266.
Health officials are hoping to see new cases stabilise and decline following the introduction of strict Stage 4 lockdown measures this week, but to date case numbers have remained stubbornly high.
Friday will represent the 33rd consecutive day of a triple-digit increase as the pandemic continues to grip the state.
“There are 7,637 active cases across the state and 1,548 active cases in connection with aged care,” Mr Andrews said this afternoon.
There continues to be a growing number of “mystery cases” that contact tracers have not yet been able to link to a source or known cluster. There are currently 2,454 cases with an unknown source, up 66 from yesterday.
Of all active cases, 911 are among healthcare workers, which is a considerable addition of 139 from yesterday, Mr Andrews said.
There are currently 601 people in hospital with 41 of those in intensive care.
We're learning some hard lessons with #COVID19Vic. Growth in #healthcareworker infections is nothing short of alarming, & more must be done to retrofit the health system to reduce our risk. Responses are patchy and slower than they should be. Open disclosure is essential.
— Stephen Parnis (@SParnis) August 7, 2020
150 positive people could not be found
Of recent doorknocks of positive cases who are meant to be isolating at home, authorities visited roughly 1150 homes, of which 1000 people were home, while 150 people could not be located.
“They have all been sent to Victoria Police who are making inquiries,” Mr Andrews warned.
“That is certainly a smaller number of people that could not be found at home than we have seen and I'm very grateful to those Victorians who are doing the right thing and are where they should be.
“That is away from other people, isolated at home, doing everything they possibly can to look after themselves, of course, but to look after everybody else by not spreading this virus.”
In total, there has been 500 people authorities have not been able to locate while out doorknocking since the lockdown was introduced, Mr Andrews said.
“They weren't there when we doorknocked them .... No one is asserting that every single person not found at the address we have for them is doing the wrong thing, but there are some people doing the wrong thing and not taking isolation seriously.”
Health authorities waiting for restrictions to show up in numbers
The state’s Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton said the mandate for Victorians to wear masks and tougher restrictions should begin to show up in reduced cases numbers.
“We've seen very significant ups and downs with numbers. That can occur with batching of results from our laboratories. But the trend overall is that we're kind of sitting at four to 500 cases a day. That is relatively flat over the last week,” he said.
“We are now looking to see the effects of various interventions, obviously masks may show in the numbers in days to come, and obviously the stage 4 restrictions will show after that. That's what we're looking for in the numbers now.”
Circumstances of Victorian Year 12 students to be assessed
Victorian Education Minister James Merlino has announced the state will take into account the circumstances of high school students graduating this year when assessing their end of year ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) score.
Teachers will be asked to provide a report on how each student has been impacted by coronavirus which will be taken into account when assessing their final ranking for university entry.
“This has been front of mind for the Premier and for the Government in terms of how we can support our students during their last year of schooling,” Mr Merlino said.
“For our Year 12 students, this is it. This is their last year of school. We know that there are many students, many parents, who are worried about how COVID-19 will impact on their VCE scores and impact on their ATAR ranking.”
Typically, special consideration for additional credits is done on a case-by-case basis, often due to illness or personal tragedy.
“But this year we're going to do things very, very differently,” Mr Merlino said.
“What we're announcing today is that every single VCE student will be individually assessed and any adverse impacts from COVID-19 will be reflected in their ATAR ranking.”
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