Vic records third day of zero virus cases

Benita Kolovos
·3-min read

For a third day in a row, Victoria has recorded no new cases of coronavirus and no further deaths.

The figures, confirmed by the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday, bring Melbourne's 14-day rolling average to 1.9 cases, with just one mystery case recorded in the fortnight to October 30.

Regional Victoria, meanwhile, has recorded no cases in the past fortnight.

The last time Victoria recorded three days in a row of zero cases was in late February.

There are 49 active COVID-19 cases remaining in Victoria, the lowest number since June 15.

The state's active cases peaked at 7880 on August 11.

Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said the state government won't further ease restrictions before Sunday, despite the positive figures.

"So much hard work has gone into getting these numbers at these low levels," Ms Allan told reporters on Monday.

"These are very much precious gains we want to hold onto and part of holding onto that is continuing to follow health advice about how we should carefully and safely step out of restrictions."

More restrictions are due to ease in Melbourne from 11:59pm on November 8, including the scrapping of the so-called "ring of steel" dividing the city from the regions and the 25km travel limit.

Gyms and fitness studios will be able to reopen, with a maximum of 20 people per space and one person per eight square metres.

Pubs and restaurants will increase up to 40 people inside and 70 outside.

Ms Allan said case numbers remained steady in Melbourne even as restrictions were eased last week because people have practised social distancing and worn masks.

"We are going to need to continue to do that for the months ahead," she said.

Ms Allan said she doesn't expect restrictions to be eased around face masks as they proved to be an "important and effective" tool in slowing the spread of the virus.

Director of the Doherty Institute Sharon Lewin agreed.

She said while masks were "slightly inconvenient" there was a large reward for little effort.

"At the moment mask-wearing is a bit of an insurance policy for us, for if there is unknown community transmission happening," she told ABC Radio Melbourne.

Professor Lewin said she was incredibly excited to see the state record consecutive days of zero cases.

"I must admit I didn't think we would get to zero, and here we are," she said.

"But we know this virus has an incubation period, meaning there's a gap between getting infected and getting symptoms and that gap can be as long as 14 days.

"If I saw zero for 14 days I'd be pretty excited about having eliminated community transmission."

Acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said he did a "celebratory jig" upon learning Australia had recorded no new local coronavirus cases on Sunday but warned against complacency.

"I must admit the national doughnut ... made me do a very celebratory jig yesterday but it was just a short run thing and we need to absolutely keep our eye on the ball," Professor Kelly told ABC Radio National.

He said four states had an increasing number of COVID-19 cases coming in from overseas.

"We still need to remember to get tested if you're sick wherever you are in the country," he said.

Some 12,956 Victorians were tested for coronavirus on Sunday.

There are two Victorians in hospital, neither of whom are receiving intensive care.

The state's virus death toll remains at 819 and the national figure 907.

Also on Monday, Victoria's Supreme Court threw out a challenge to the state's now-scrapped COVID-19 curfew.