Coronavirus: Victoria's spike continues with 64 new cases

Victoria has recorded a further 64 coronavirus cases on Tuesday as the state tries to get to grips with a surge in cases that has seen hundreds of people infected over the past week.

The state announced a further 75 cases on Monday and 90 cases over the weekend, with the majority of those cases locally acquired in the Melbourne region.

Coronavirus testing is conducted in the Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows on Sunday. Source: AAP

The state is currently conducting a testing blitz in 10 hotspot suburbs, with health officials now considering whether a lockdown, or ‘ring-fencing’ those areas, which would entail shutting them off from the rest of Melbourne entirely, is needed.

Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Tuesday, that from 11.59pm on Wednesday people in 10 different postcodes will only be allowed to leave the home for four reasons.

It was just three weeks ago that the state recorded zero daily cases on June 9.

'Unacceptably high number'

There have been 233 new cases of coronavirus since last Thursday when the state’s testing blitz began, Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews said during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

“That is an unacceptably high number and one that poses a real threat to all of us, not just in those hotspot suburbs but indeed in every suburb and ultimately every community across our state,” he said.

The suburbs with the highest number of new cases are Broadmeadows, Fawkner and Auburnvale, he said.

“Most concern is the number of community transmission cases in those suburbs and other suburbs approximate to them,” the premier continued.

Testing blitz in hotspots

Victoria has recorded 2,159 confirmed coronavirus cases. 

Out of the 64 new cases recorded on Tuesday, 13 are attributed to outbreaks, 20 to routine testing and another 31 are still being investigated.

Premier Andrews said more than 809,000 tests have been conducted since January 1.

“Since last Thursday, across the state and with a particular focus on those hot spots that are well-known to all of you, there have been 93,000 plus tests that have been conducted.

“More than 37,000 doors have been knocked on, particularly in those hot spot suburbs.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews addresses the media during a press conference about coronavirus. Source: AAP

Almost 1,000 people refuse tests

Premier Andrew revealed during his press conference that 928 people living in two of the hotspot suburbs heading into a four-week lockdown refused to be tested for coronavirus

“Now I can't change that. That's happened. All I can do is encourage those people come forward and get tested today. 

“Come forward and get tested tomorrow and in a broader sense if someone comes to your doorstep and asks you to be tested, please say yes,” he said. 

Healthcare employees are seen at work at a coronavirus testing facility at Northland shopping centre in Melbourne. Source: AAP

Inquiry launched into hotel breaches

Mr Andrews called for an inquiry to investigate the hotel quarantine process after it was reported some members of staff violated the strict virus regulations - contributing to a “large portion” of the new infections.

The premier said he was disappointed to hear of breaches of infection control protocols, which included instances of members sharing cigarette lighters.

"What might be seem innocent, quite low risk, it's not," he said.

"As I have said, I don't know how many times I have said it now, this is wildly infectious and one slip-up can be the difference between you getting it."

A traveller returned from overseas is checked into an inner-city hotel in Melbourne on March 30. Source: Getty

SA scraps plan to lift all border measures

South Australia has scrapped a plan to lift all its remaining border restrictions next month amid the spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria.

Premier Steven Marshall says the July 20 date to lift quarantine measures for Victoria, NSW and the ACT has been abandoned on the latest health advice.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says her government is not currently contemplating a closure of the NSW-Victoria border.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has also announced the state’s highly-anticipated border restrictions lift for July 10, however it excludes Victoria.

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