Nine areas in Victoria are reporting an increase in coronavirus cases as numbers continue to drop across the state.
According to data from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, new cases climbed by as much as five in some local government areas in a 24-hour period despite the state’s strict Stage 4 lockdown.
Daily new case numbers released by the department show cases jumped in Greater Geelong by five from 66 cases on Wednesday to 71 on Thursday, and by three in Monash, the Mornington Peninsula and Whitehorse.
Moorabool, in the state’s west, and Port Phillip, south of Melbourne, had an increase of two cases, while Baw Baw, Stonnington and Knox had one.
Cases had been trending downwards in Moorabool, the Mornington Peninsula, Knox, Baw Baw and Greater Geelong before cases started to rise again on Thursday.
On Saturday, Greater Geelong recorded 98 cases with numbers steadily declining to 90 on Sunday, 88 on Monday, 74 on Tuesday and 66 on Wednesday before jumping back up to 71 on Thursday.
The four other suburbs had been experiencing a more unpredictable trend, with daily cases increasing and decreasing by one or two over the past week.
While some local government areas saw a rise in cases, others have had some very promising news with cases dropping significantly.
Wyndham, in southwest Melbourne, had 35 less active cases on Thursday than on Wednesday, followed by Hume, which had a drop of 20.
Other local government areas with the highest decreases in cases included Brimbank, Whittlesea and Melton, all of which reported a drop of 14.
In June, Victoria named Brimbank as one of the worst-hit spots in Victoria as the second wave hit the state.
Victoria is now looking towards its road map out of lockdown, with just 11 of the 78 local government areas in the state reporting more than 100 active coronavirus cases.
However, University of Melbourne epidemiologist Professor John Mathews says Victoria will still have to work to get its cases as low as NSW before it can consider lifting its harsh lockdown.
On Friday, Victoria confirmed 113 new cases for the second day in a row. There were 12 reported deaths, a significant decrease on the 23 reported on Thursday.
The daily case number in Victoria has now been below 150 for the past five days.
Hopes of entering Stage 3 lockdown
With cases dropping, there is growing anticipation to lift Melbourne’s Stage 4 lockdown and regional Victoria’s Stage 3 restrictions due to end on September 13.
But Premier Daniel Andrews said it was too soon to tell exactly what is involved in returning to some semblance of normality.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the road map out of lockdown would have to be “transparent and location specific” while Mr Andrews simply said details would be made public soon.
Health authorities are still waiting to see daily case numbers drop further, however Thursday and Friday’s figures were the lowest since the July 5 tally of 74 – also the last time it was below 100.
On July 4, the number had hit 108 and nine Melbourne public housing towers entered their hard lockdown – an early sign of how bad the second outbreak was to become.
"At 100-plus cases a day, we cannot open up right now," Mr Andrews said.
"As painful and as challenging as this is, I think (Victorians) understand that fact.
"That's why we're working as hard as we possibly can to drive the numbers down further. Once we achieve that, we will be able to outline clear plans."
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