Australia

723 new cases, 13 more deaths

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has expressed a renewal of support for Victoria and Premier Daniel Andrews today as the state fights a surge in coronavirus cases.

Premier Daniel Andrews confirms another huge surge in virus cases across Victoria. Picture: Ian Currie/NCA NewsWire
Premier Daniel Andrews confirms another huge surge in virus cases across Victoria. Picture: Ian Currie/NCA NewsWire

Victoria’s COVID-19 crisis has spiralled out-of-control overnight after the state recorded more than 700 new infections and 13 more deaths.

It’s the state’s darkest day since the pandemic started, with Thursday’s number completely swamping the previous biggest daily total of 503 cases on Monday.

The blowout also obliterated the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s predictions that Monday’s total could have been the state’s virus peak.

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Cases are continuing to soar in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, with various services and schools across Epping shut down and a volatile outbreak spreading through Epping Gardens Aged Care.

Premier Daniel Andrews said given the scale of Thursday’s jump in cases, a breakdown of outbreaks would be provided by the Victorian Chief Health Officer in the afternoon.

Mr Andrews did say an increase in cases among aged-care homes had contributed to the meteoric rise.

There are 5385 active virus cases in Victoria, with 4516 of those limited to metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire.

ADF and medical workers scramble to deal with a virus outbreak at Epping Gardens aged care. Picture: David Crosling
ADF and medical workers scramble to deal with a virus outbreak at Epping Gardens aged care. Picture: David Crosling

CASES RISING IN EPPING

Virus cases are soaring in a suburb in the City of Whittlesea in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

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Coronavirus has plagued an aged-care home, three schools, a Costco wholesaler and a service centre in the past week.

ADF personnel have been deployed to assist medical workers at Epping Gardens Aged Care facility as the site grapples with an outbreak of 86 cases.

Two workers have tested positive at the popular Costco wholesaler, while six staff members at the Epping Services Centre have become infected.

Al Siraat College, Epping Secondary College and Epping Views Primary School, have all been closed due to cases of COVID-19.

ADF medical workers have set up mobile tents at Epping Gardens Aged Care home where there is an outbreak of more than 80 cases. Picture: David Crosling/NCA NewsWire
ADF medical workers have set up mobile tents at Epping Gardens Aged Care home where there is an outbreak of more than 80 cases. Picture: David Crosling/NCA NewsWire

VIRUS HITS SHOPPING CENTRE

The coronavirus has hit a major shopping centre in Melbourne’s northern suburbs after two infections at two separate stores were confirmed.

Northland announced confirmed cases of COVID-19 in staff members who last worked at Myer on Wednesday, July 22 and Nike on Friday, July 17.

Management at the Preston retail precinct said both stores had been deep cleaned and sanitised.

“We’ve received no advice which indicates there was any risk to our customers or retail team members who visited Myer on 22 July or Nike on 17 July,” a statement read.

“All team members who have been identified as having been in close contact with the affected team members have been contacted, will undergo testing and will self-isolate until they receive test results.”

The Australian Lamb Company is at the centre of regional Victoria’s largest virus outbreak. Picture: Jay Town
The Australian Lamb Company is at the centre of regional Victoria’s largest virus outbreak. Picture: Jay Town

SIX REGIONAL COUNCILS SHUTDOWN

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Residents in the local government areas of Colac-Otway, Greater Geelong, SurfCoast, Moorabool, Golden Plains, and the Borough of Queenscliffe will no longer be able to visit people or have visitors at home due to the spread of COVID-19.

The measure comes into force from 11.59pm on Thursday night.

“Understandably, there’ll be plenty of questions about why this and not that. Why you can have dinner together at a restaurant – but not at a mate’s place. And the simple truth is, the data. The data is telling us that outside work, this is the single greatest cause of transmission in these communities,” Premier Andrews said.

“People are visiting friends and family – and taking the virus home with them.”

Colac is the centre of regional Victoria’s largest outbreak with 51 cases linked to the Australian Lamb Company.

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