Vic saw a surge in COVID-19 cases this weekend, further big rises are expected

A huge spike in new coronavirus infections in Victoria over the last three days threatens to see the state overtake New South Wales as the part of Australia most stricken by COVID-19.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was blunt today stating, “This is serious, this is real, and no Victorian has any excuse but to take this seriously”.

A series of graphs (below) vividly shows how bad, and how quickly, the situation has got in Victoria. One shows cases across the entire state and one in the hot spot council areas.

From Saturday to Monday, almost 300 people were confirmed as being newly infected with the virus. The 127 new cases on Monday was the highest since the pandemic began, the 108 on Saturday the second highest. Bluntly, that means Victoria’s current spike has topped the previous peak from March.

RELATED: Where Victoria’s new cases are coming from

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Even more of concern is that most of the recent infections have come from local community transmission rather than returning travellers and their families. The state‘s chief health office Brett Sutton said the virus had the potential to “explode” within nine public housing blocks.

On Monday, Mr Sutton admitted today’s record figure was focusing minds but said the surge was contained.

“Clearly 127 is a big number. And nobody wants to see it, but we do have a very clear picture on a daily basis with the record test numbers that we‘re doing,” he said.

“So we do have a picture of how it’s trending and we do know increasingly that we’re seeing them in outbreaks.

“That‘s not to dismiss outbreaks, because outbreaks lead to cases that require hospitalisation – some of whom go to ICU and puts people’s lives at risk – but we know where they occur and we know how to manage and control them.

“Nonetheless, the community cases have remained relatively low.”


Today’s huge rise in cases in Victoria comes in contrast to New South Wales that, despite being the one-time national centre of the pandemic, is now recording just a handful of cases each day (or none at all) and that’s almost entirely due to international arrivals.

NSW has still recorded more coronavirus cases then anywhere in Australia, clocking up at 3240. However, Victoria’s 2663 means it is closing in on its northern neighbour and conceivably could achieve the grim milestone of being Australia’s most virus stricken state.

Today, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews warned a release from lockdown restrictions will be “further away” if people don’t follow the rules.

“That will be further away still if people say, ‘Well, I want this to be over so I‘m going to pretend that it is.’ It isn’t. There’s a long way to run in this.

“This is serious, this is real, and no Victorian has any excuse but to take this seriously. Otherwise, we will finish up in a situation where all post codes are locked down. No one wants that and no one through their actions and the choices they make should make that more likely.”

“This could not be more serious. I‘m not telling people what to do, I’m asking – work with me and my team and we will get this back under control and we will be able to resume our easing, our opening up. The alternative is people pretend it’s over and it will be anything but over if some of this behaviour continues.”

The government has come in for criticism at what Mr Andrews himself has termed a “hard lockdown” of nine public housing estates. At least 26 recorded cases have come from the blocks in Flemington and North Melbourne.

This has seen residents forced to remain in their flats with police patrolling corridors and food and other services provided to them.

But Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton said there was little choice given there were already confirmed cases within the blocks.

“If this had exploded within the towers, and there were literally hundreds and hundreds of people who became infected and they were going about their normal business, it would have spread beyond the postcodes even,” he said on Sunday.

“I think the early, if imperfect control, is the really key element here.”

Residents of the blocks will receive free rent for two weeks as well as payments of up to $1500 to replace lost earnings.


The Premier urged all the residents to agree to a test amid reports up to 10,000 Melburnians have refused one in recent days.

“I expect that everybody will consent to a test because the sooner we have the testing process concluded, the sooner we will be able to make decisions based on the data about the restrictions that are appropriate for those nine towers,” he said at a press conference on Sunday.

“If someone knocks on your door to do a test the only answer you should give is ‘yes’.

“And if you see someone in your family group, in your friendship group, in your street, who is not taking this seriously, then call them out.”

Sunday’s new cases came from a number of clusters. As well as the housing blocks, new infections were reported at a hospital in Epping, the Stamford Plaza Hotel and Al-Taqwa College in Truganina.

Residents in a swath of postcodes across the city’s north and west were forced back into lockdown and are now allowed out of home for only a handful of reasons.


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