Victoria has recorded 723 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours – the country’s highest daily total so far.
Premier Daniel Andrews says 13 people have died overnight – they are three men and three women in their 70s, three men and two women in their 80s, and two men in their 90s.
Today’s total number of new cases significantly higher than Monday’s record total of 532 and disappointing after a drop to 384 cases on Tuesday and 295 cases yesterday.
The Victorian government’s modelling showed that Monday should have been the state’s peak.
However, the state’s chief health officer Brett Sutton said yesterday he couldn’t confirm that was the case in reality.
“You cannot make assumptions on modelling. It doesn’t predict the future. There are important insights that you can gain from the modelling, the kind of range it tells you, about where you are headed, but you cannot say we have passed a peak,” he said.
“There is nothing else to consider here. We have to watch the numbers every day.”
He also raised concern about the steady levels of community transmission in the state, despite a drop in overall numbers.
He said there were 55 additional community transmission cases that have been flagged from the overnight numbers.
Now, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but we were at a point a month or so ago where we had single figures for community transmission, so that ongoing, you know, tireless work to follow them up on their close contacts needs to continue,” he said.
“Not great numbers, but not going down as much as I would like.”
He said the hotspots in Melbourne have shifted west and new areas are seeing increased transmission.
The human cost of Melbourne’s aged care crisis has been laid bare in a heartbreaking photo of a body wrapped in a rug being wheeled out of a nursing home.
Medical workers covered in protective gear on Wednesday were pictured moving the body from the virus-stricken Epping Gardens Aged Care Facility in Melbourne’s north and into a van.
The home has been linked to 86 cases – with 27 staff and 59 residents have contracting the coronavirus – and two deaths.
It comes as seven deaths were on Wednesday linked to Victoria’s aged-care crisis, taking the total death toll connected to the sector to 46.
More than 950 cases of Covid-19 have been linked to aged-care facilities, with active outbreaks across 87 separate centres, as 295 new cases were recorded across the state on Wednesday.
Former chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said Epping Gardens is the facility authorities are most worried about in Victoria.
He said the ADF was called in on Tuesday night after the majority of the workforce had to go into quarantine.
Meanwhile, according to the department of education in Victoria, about 100 schools are currently closed in Victoria because of Covid-19.
The closures have spread to regional Victoria today.
In central Victoria, the Catherine McAuley College and St Joseph’s Primary School in Bendigo are closed for deep-cleaning.
The Holy Rosary school in Heathcote was closed as a precaution.
Victoria recorded 295 new coronavirus cases and nine new deaths yesterday.