THE number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Moira Shire continues to climb, with 10 cases listed as at lunchtime today.
One case has already proved fatal, with a woman in her 70s having died at Goulburn Valley Health last Wednesday.
The woman is believed to have recently returned from a holiday in New Zealand and was self-isolating at home when she was diagnosed.
Greater Shepparton currently has eight confirmed cases.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Victoria is 1,158 – an increase of 23 from Sunday, as testing for the virus expands.
Of the total 1,158 cases, there have been 940 in Melbourne and 212 in regional Victoria. A number of cases remain under investigation.
The total number of cases includes 608 men and 550 women. Cases range in age from babies to their early nineties.
Currently 45 people are in hospital – including 11 patients in intensive care – and 620 people have recovered.
There are 88 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria that may have been acquired through community transmission. More than 57,000 tests have been conducted to date.
Victoria’s testing criteria for COVID-19 have been broadened to include people whose employment and contact with the broader public may place them at higher risk of exposure to any virus which may be circulating in the community.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said the changes are aimed at striking a balance between identifying cases that are not linked to known travel or other risks and maintaining current suppression efforts targeted at returned travellers and contacts of current cases.
“The number of community acquired cases contracted from an unknown source are continuing to rise – the expansion of the testing criteria will allow us to get a clearer picture of how much the virus is circulating,” Professor Sutton said.
If someone in the following categories displays clinical symptoms – a fever or acute respiratory infection – they will now be tested for COVID-19.
• Childcare and early childhood education
• Primary or secondary schools; and
• Firefighters who are emergency medical responders
• People aged 65 years and older.
“These new criteria do not mean our stage three restrictions should be relaxed. The reverse is true, we must continue these actions to flatten the curve,” Professor Sutton said.
Contact tracing of all known cases will continue so that anyone who has been exposed to a confirmed case completes the mandatory 14 days in self-isolation.