Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has conceded some residents were given the wrong advice about self-isolating after coronavirus testing – one day after scolding people for leaving their homes.
The state reported 403 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, dropping slightly from its 484 peak the day before.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Mr Andrews said 90 per cent of people with coronavirus didn’t isolate between when they first felt sick and when they got tested.
He also said 53 per cent did not isolate after the test until receiving the results.
“They have been at the height of their infectivity and they have just continued on as usual,” he said.
“We just can't have that any longer. That will continue to see more workplaces with positive cases. More businesses shut down. Ultimately, there's no reason to be going to work when you're sick. It's simply unacceptable.”
However, the premier admitted on Thursday some Victorians had been given incorrect advice via signs at testing centres.
His comments were prompted by reporters who asked about patients at drive-thru clinics who had seen signs telling people they didn’t have to isolate before receiving their results if they didn’t have symptoms.
This advice appears to be reflected in a screenshot obtained by news.com.au from Victoria’s health department website, which suggests the same advice on July 4.
Mr Andrews said “there were a handful of incorrect signs out there”, but they had since been replaced.
“Well, the advice that was presented was wrong,” he said.
“People should isolate and wait for the test result. That is the advice.”
When asked if the wrong advice has “contributed to the situation” Victoria now finds itself in, Mr Andrews said he didn’t believe that was the case.
“No, I don't think so. People going to our testing stations now should be symptomatic,” he said.
People without symptoms are being tested in some areas, such as aged care homes and outbreak hotspots, he added.
“But broad asymptomatic testing in the community does not pick up cases,” the premier said.
“When we've done our blitz, there have been half a dozen cases out of tens and tens of thousands.
“So they are not the individuals who are anymore at risk than any other asymptomatic individual out there.”
Epidemiologist Adrian Esterman, from the University of South Australia, told news.com.au “40-50 per cent of infected people are asymptomatic”.
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