Date issued: 03 April 2020
Issued by: Adjunct Clinical Professor Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer, Victoria
Issued to: Clinicians and the Victorian public
Developments in the outbreak
- As of 3 April 2020, Victoria has 1,085 total confirmed cases, 37 people are in hospitals including seven people in intensive care. Seven people have died. 59% of cases are directly linked to overseas travel, and 62 were locally acquired (in Victoria) with no known link to overseas travel or another confirmed case. In total, 476 people have recovered.
- Of the total 1,085 cases, there have been 866 in metropolitan Melbourne and 205 in regional Victoria. A number of cases remain under investigation.
- This week, Australia’s total exceeded 5,000 cases. That is expected to increase significantly in coming weeks unless people stay at home.
- Up-to-date epidemiological data is available on our website.
Updated advice to clinicians
- Deaths that are due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection are notifiable to DHHS 24 hours a day by phone on 1300 651 160. At this early stage of the Victorian epidemic, timely notification is a key action to help guide the public health response.
- DHHS is in regular contact with all confirmed cases and will determine when they are no longer infectious for release from isolation. Hospital discharge of confirmed COVID-19 cases can be determined on clinical grounds without prior approval by DHHS. Patients are not required to stay in hospital for the duration of their infectious period.
- The case definition has changed. See the Health services and general practice - coronavirus disease (COVID-19) page for updated information, including new Quick Reference Guide and Guidelines for health services and general practitioners.
- Doctors, nurses, midwives and mental health professionals can deliver temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule and Department of Veterans’ Affairs items via telehealth, provided those services are bulk billed.
- Doctors are encouraged to remind all patients that they should stay at home unless going to medical appointments or performing essential tasks.
- If testing health care workers, doctors are reminded to clearly mark pathology slips with ‘HCW’ to ensure the swabs can be easily identified for priority testing.
- Doctors are reminded to ensure they include a mobile contact number on pathology slips for patients who have been tested.
- Physical (social) distancing measures should be consistently applied, if at all possible, including in clinical settings. The rule of 1 person for every 4 square metres must be maintained to ensure a safe physical distance.
Read the full update: Coronavirus-disease (COVID-19) - Update - 3 April 2020
Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.