Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced 397 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday from the 24 hour period up to 8pm Friday night.
It’s a huge decrease on the 627 new coronavirus infections from the day before and the more than 700 on Thursday.
But Mr Andrews said community transmission was a “growing concern”in Victoria and harder lockdown measures might be needed for the state to fully turn the corner.
Three people died overnight in the state – a woman in her 90s, a man in his 80s and a woman in her 80s. That brings the total COVID-19 death toll in Victoria to 116.
“The breakdown of the cases is 37 linked to outbreaks and other complex cases, and 360 that are under investigation by the public health team,” Mr Andrews said.
“That is a very significant number of new cases and while there is always a temptation to try and read trends into these numbers, there is a growing concern in relation to the number of community transmission cases within that data.”
RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus coverage
There are two key areas of concern for Victoria: the deep tentacles coronavirus has sunk into the state’s aged care sector and 49 “mystery cases” that cannot be traced back to another known infection.
Mr Andrews said while 49 “doesn’t seem a very large number”, it can mean there are many more than 49 people out there with “very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, they can be at the height of their infectivity, and be infecting other people unbeknownst to them.
“The challenge with that of course is that they are a mystery and this is all about trying to know as much as you possibly can, as much intelligence and evidence and data as you possibly can,” he said.
“It is a silent enemy, it is a very cunning enemy as well.”
Below is a breakdown of where Saturday’s announced cases have come from according to the Victoria Department of Health and Human Services
MAKE UP OF CASES
• 1841 cases may indicate community transmission
• 5919 cases are currently active in Victoria
• 379 cases of coronavirus are in hospital, 41 in intensive care
• Of total cases, 10,072 are from metropolitan Melbourne, 620 are from regional Victoria
• Total cases include 5406 men and 5416 women
• More than 1,633,900 tests have been processed
• Total number of healthcare workers: 1075, active cases: 637
• 1008 active cases relating to outbreaks across aged care facilities
AGED CARE OUTBREAKS
• 134 cases linked to St Basil’s Home for the Aged, Fawkner
• 118 cases linked to Epping Gardens Aged Care, Epping
• 105 cases linked to Estia Aged Care Facility, Ardeer
• 94 cases linked to Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes, Kilsyth
• 86 cases linked to Estia Aged Care Facility, Heidelberg
• 63 cases linked to Menarock Life Aged Care Facility, Essendon
• 60 cases linked to Glendale Aged Care Facility, Werribee
• 56 cases linked to Outlook Gardens Aged Care Facility, Dandenong North
• 54 cases linked to Aurrum Aged Care, Plenty
• 53 cases linked to Baptist Care Wyndham Lodge, Werribee
New cases in other aged care facilities include two cases linked to Uniting AgeWell in Kingsville, two cases linked to Twin Parks Aged Care Centre in Reservoir, and single cases linked to Highwood Court Aged Care in Burwood, St Vincent’s Aged Care in Eltham, Little Sisters of the Poor St Jospeh’s Home in Northcote and Doutta Galla Yarraville Village.
PUBLIC HOUSING BLOCKS CASES
• 311 cases are residents of various public housing towers in North Melbourne and Flemington. Investigations are continuing into how these cases are linked.
• 66 cases are residents of various public housing towers in Carlton. Investigations are continuing into if and/or how these cases are linked.
• 184 cases linked to Al-Taqwa College, Truganina
• 134 cases linked to Bertocchi Smallgoods, Thomastown
• 84 cases linked to JBS abattoir, Brooklyn
• 68 cases linked to Australian Lamb Company, Colac
• 40 cases linked to Melbourne Health Royal Park Campus
• 33 cases linked to Woolworths Distribution Centre, Mulgrave
• 25 cases linked to Nino Early Learning, Bundoora
• 19 cases linked to Ausfresh, Broadmeadows
• 18 cases linked to Dowell Windows, Bayswater
• 17 cases linked to Linfox warehouse, Truganina
• 16 cases linked to Serco, Mill Park
• 14 cases linked to Golden Farms Poultry, Breakwater
Mr Andrews said the coronavirus situation in Victoria’s aged care remained “a very serious challenge in many ways”.
There are 1008 active cases linked to the sector.
“This is very difficult for residents and families as well,” he said.
“All governments, all agencies are working together as closely as we possibly can to have one focus and that is on residents, their wellbeing, their health and by extension the wellbeing of families who are obviously concerned and very keen to get as much information as quickly as they possibly can.”
Victoria is eyeing off further restrictions as the total number of new cases continues in the hundreds.
Mr Andrews said this morning that “today is not the day to announce further steps” but admitted the government was discussing a number of options to slow community transmission.
The announcement comes as reports claim Mr Andrews has set Sunday as the deadline for a decision to be made on further restrictions, with health authorities reported to be working through the night “crunching data” to determine exactly what the next steps should be.