Victoria will not follow in the footsteps of other states in easing some social distancing measures despite a falling infection count.
The state’s coronavirus death toll has risen to 17, with Health Minister Jenny Mikakos confirming a man in his 90s who contracted COVID-19 died in hospital, while three more people tested positive to the virus on Sunday.
Of the three new cases, one was a patient at the private psychiatric facility the Albert Road Clinic, which has been the centre of an outbreak.
At least 16 staff, patients and known contacts have contracted the virus at the facility.
The state’s total number of COVID-19 cases sits at 1349, though 1265 people have recovered.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the low case numbers were encouraging.
“They prove that our physical distancing measures are working but this is not a time to relax our strong approach – this disease can get away from you very quickly as we have seen in cities overseas,” Professor Sutton told reporters on Sunday.
He said he has no intention of altering Victoria’s stay-at-home measures until the state of emergency ends on May 11, despite moves by Queensland and Western Australia to ease some restrictions this week.
“I don’t know what transmission will look like this week or next week, but I think the state of emergency going to May 11 is a nice line-up with the national cabinet process for a real look at changing the restrictions,” Professor Sutton said.
He also rebuffed calls from the state opposition and federal government to return to face-to-face learning before the end of term two.
The Victorian government has encouraged parents to keep their children at home for all of term two.
Schools are open for students who cannot learn from home and the children of essential workers.
“My advice hasn’t changed,” Prof Sutton said.