How many cases of COVID-19 are there?
On Friday, August 7, the Victorian government announced there were 450 new COVID-19 cases in the state, bringing Victoria's total since the disease first emerged to 13,865.
To date, 181 people in Victoria have lost their lives to the illness.
As of Friday, 607 people were being treated in hospital for COVID-19, 41 of whom were in intensive care.
There were 7637 active cases, 1548 of which were connected to aged care and 911 among healthcare workers.
As of Thursday, August 6, municipalities in central Victoria had together recorded a total of 124 cases since March 20.
There were 84 active cases in the region.
Greater Bendigo: 51 cases total; 39 active
Mount Alexander: 11 cases total; five active
Macedon Ranges: 47 cases total; 36 active
Campaspe: Six cases total; one active
Loddon: Six cases total; three active
Central Goldfields: One case total; none active
Gannawarra: Two cases total; none active
Buloke: No cases
What are the current restrictions and rules?
Anyone who feels unwell must stay home, and those with symptoms of COVID-19 - even minor - should get tested.
Everyone in Victoria - aside from those who have a lawful exception - must now wear a mask outside the home.
Exceptions include illness that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable, while doing strenuous exercise, or jobs that cannot be done while wearing a face covering.
Children under 12 do not have to wear a face covering, and children under two should not wear one.
From 11.59pm on Wednesday, August 5, regional Victoria will enter Stage Three restrictions.
Until that time, people in most regional areas can have a maximum five visitors in their home at a time.
Outdoor gatherings in public areas are restricted to a maximum of 10 people.
People are advised to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from others when out of the house, or wear a mask or face covering in public when keeping such a distance is difficult.
Travel in Victoria - except to Melbourne and Mitchell Shire - is allowed.
The maximum number of people allowed per holiday accommodation booking is 20.
Camping is permitted at caravan parks and campgrounds in groups of up to 20 people.
Those who wish to camp outside of caravan parks and campgrounds can do so in groups of up to 10 people.
People living in regional Victoria can only travel into metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire for one of the following reasons:
- Shopping for food and essential supplies
- Care, caregiving and compassionate reasons
- Work or study, if they cannot do so from home
Anyone travelling into metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire for one of these reasons must wear a face mask or covering when out in public, unless they are under 12 years old or have a lawful reason for not doing so (such as a medical condition).
Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire are subject to 'stay at home' restrictions, meaning residents must only leave their home for one of these four reasons: shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and study and work, if they cannot do so from home.
They are not permitted to travel unless it is for work or study, care-giving, seeking medical care, or visiting a partner.
What about shopping, eating out and entertainment?
Hospitality businesses in regional areas (except Mitchell Shire), including restaurants and cafes, can have a maximum of 20 customers per enclosed space, so long as there is only one customer per four square metres.
They can provide alcohol without a meal to seated customers.
Groups of up to 10 people are allowed to dine together.
Such businesses must make reasonable efforts to ensure customers are not from Melbourne or Mitchell Shire.
Outside of Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, galleries and museums can have up to 20 patrons per enclosed space, subject to the four square metre rule.
Cinemas and theatres can have up to 20 seated patrons inside, although theatres with multiple seating tiers (such as balconies) can have 20 people in each space, if there are separate entrances.
Anyone who attends the above venues for more than 15 minutes must provide their contact details, to assist with contact tracing should someone test positive to COVID-19.
Can I get a massage or a tattoo?
Outside Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, personal services - such as beauty salons, tattoo and piercing services and massage services - can open, with up to 20 people.
Customers will be asked to provide identification.
Hairdressers and barbers are also open, and will ask for a first name and phone number should contact tracing become necessary.
Am I allowed to visit a loved one in hospital or a care facility?
Bendigo Health only allows visitors on compassionate grounds, at the discretion of the relevant nurse unit manager.
Those who wish to arrange a visit should call the relevant ward.
St John of God Bendigo has barred visitors.
Read more: Hospitals introduce visitor restrictions
Castlemaine Health does not allow non-essential visitors; those who wish to visit a patient or resident should call the nurse unit manager.
Visitors to Maryborough District Health Service's aged care facilities will only be allowed on compassionate grounds.
Central Highlands Rural Health, which includes Kyneton Health, says all visitors to its aged care facilities must make an appointment in advance.
Inglewood and Districts Health Service currently has a no visitor policy.
There are government restrictions that apply at a minimum to all hospitals across Victoria.
Face coverings or masks must be worn.
Parents or guardians can visit a child in hospital, but only one person is allowed at a time.
There are no limits on the number or duration of visits.
Patients over 18 can have a visitor when emotional support cannot be provided via electronic or other non-contact means, but the visitor can only visit once per day, for an hour.
Patients with life-threatening conditions can have two visitors at a time, with no limit on the number or duration on visits.
People who have given birth and are in the maternity ward can have only their partner or support person visit, once per day for a maximum of two hours.
Anyone attending the emergency department can be accompanied by one person, for an hour.
Contact your relevant hospital or care facility for their restrictions.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Loss of or changes to smell and taste
- Chills or sweats
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
Where can I get tested?
- Old Bendigo Health emergency department, Stewart Street
- La Trobe Rural Health School car park, access via Anne Caudle Centre gates in Barnard Street (drive-through)
- Bendigo Respiratory Clinic, 126 Spring Gully Road, Spring Gully (appointments essential; book online here)
- All GP clinics in Mount Alexander Shire are testing registered patients; those not registered with a clinic in the shire should travel to Bendigo for testing
- Maryborough District Health Service, Clarendon Street (book by calling 5461 0362)
- Central Highlands Rural Health - Kyneton Health, Caroline Chisholm Drive (book by calling 5422 9900)
- Echuca Regional Health, Service Street
What should I do once I've been tested?
People should remain isolated at home after they have been tested, until they receive a negative result.
Anyone who returns a positive result must isolate for at least 14 days, or until they have recovered.
Those worried about losing work and income while isolating may be eligible for a support payment.
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