Authorities are increasingly concerned with so-called “mystery” COVID-19 cases in Victoria as infection rates appear to stabilise.
The coronavirus-hit state’s seven-day case average is beginning to trend downwards as stage three restrictions and the introduction of masks have an impact.
But contact tracers have been unable to push down the number of cases with an unknown source. The overall figure rose to 2903 on Tuesday, up 40 from the day before.
Aged care deaths also show no signs of abating, with Health Minister Jenny Mikakos admitting it might be weeks before COVID-19 starts to loosen its deadly grip on the sector.
“There will be a time lag in terms of the number of fatalities and that will take longer,” she told Victoria’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee on Tuesday.
Those deaths took the state’s death toll to 246, with 151 of those from aged care homes.
Since the start of the year, 2420 cases have been confirmed across aged care.
Just 582 of these patients have recovered. There are 122 aged care facilities with active cases.
Meanwhile, an alcohol and drug withdrawal facility in Melbourne’s northeast insists it followed health advice after being shutdown over a positive test.
The ReGen withdrawal service, operated by UnitingCare, was closed for deep cleaning on August 6 after an asymptomatic client tested positive.
Speaking to The Age, a fellow resident forced into quarantine accused the facility of not making new arrivals self-isolate despite having compulsory testing.
But Laurence Alvis, a general manager of alcohol, other drugs and mental health at UnitingCare, said the facility had taken appropriate precautions.
“We have been strictly adhering to our approved COVIDSafe plan and all government requirements,” he said in a statement to AAP.
The withdrawal service re-opened on Tuesday, but impacted residents won’t be re-admitted until they return a negative test or serve 14 days quarantine.
Of Victoria’s 331 new cases on Tuesday, 91 are linked to outbreaks or complex cases and 240 are under investigation.
There are 7880 cases active across the state, with 650 people in hospital and 43 of those in intensive care.
The effect of Melbourne’s stage four lockdown isn’t expected to start showing up until next week.