Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a daily increase of 403 new cases and five deaths throughout the state. Of the five deaths, one man was aged in his 50s and another in his 70s while the remaining three were connected to aged care settings including a woman in her 70s, a man in his 80s and another man in his 90s.
There are now 3,360 active cases in the state with 49 deaths overall. Currently 201 Victorians are in hospital with 40 of those in intensive care.
Andrews also announced the introduction of a $300 and $1,500 payment for people who are struggling to isolate after getting tested. The $300 payment will be available to anyone who’s taken a test and needs to isolate but only if that person is in work and doesn’t have access to sick leave to fall back on (i.e. most casual workers).
Those getting tested will have to provide a pay slip or a statutory declaration to prove that they can’t be paid sick leave to isolate after getting tested and then will be eligible to get the supplement through the coronavirus hotline.
Those who then test positive and have to miss out on subsequent work without being paid sick leave will get a further payment of $1,500. Andrews said this was put in place as a direct response to the fact that more than half of all Victorians getting tested weren’t isolating between being tested and getting their results with many of whom saying they couldn’t afford to miss work.
“This $300 payment will go a long way to supporting those families, and having them make much better choices,” he said. “If you’re sick, get tested quick and then isolate until you get a test result.
“If you were then a positive case, then you would be eligible because those same insecure work circumstances apply, you would be eligible for a further $1,500 dollar payment, and we would make sure that we made those payments are paid as quickly as possible. This is about trying to make being an earner doesn’t compromise or see you making bad choices for every other family across our state so this ensures that people are no worse off.”
Andrews added that the effective reproduction rate is down around 1 per cent but not below it and calls on people to get tested at the earliest sign of symptoms. He also said those in regional Victoria who aren’t under the same restrictions as those in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire aren’t required to wear masks but are advised to do so if they’re out and about.
Meanwhile, NSW has recorded 19 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm Wednesday. Out of the new cases, three are linked to the Crossroads Hotel cluster and nine to the Thai Rock restaurant cluster. One south-western Sydney resident acquired their infection in Victoria and has been self-isolating since arriving in NSW, three were returned travellers in hotel quarantine and three are still under investigation.
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