THE Public Health Unit Bendigo has confirmed the person who tested positive to COVID-19 in Echuca actually returned a false positive test.
The unit said the false positive was due to a laboratory error.
THERE are two new COVID-19 cases in central Victoria, data from the Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed.
The data, released on Friday afternoon, showed one new coronavirus case in Greater Bendigo and another new case in the Campaspe Shire.
There were still only two active cases in Greater Bendigo, while the new Campaspe Shire case was the only active case in the local government area.
There was still one active COVID-19 case listed in the Macedon Ranges Shire. There were no active cases in the Mount Alexander, Central Goldfields, Loddon, Gannawarra, and Buloke Shires.
The new COVID-19 cases mean there were four active cases in central Victoria on Friday.
A DHHS spokesperson said the rolling daily average case number for regional Victoria was 4.7.
A two-week average of less than five new cases daily is one of the metrics regional Victoria must meet before it can take the 'third step' in the plan to move out of COVID-19 restrictions.
The other is zero new cases with an unknown source over 14 days.
Greater Bendigo has recorded one new COVID-19 case, Premier Daniel Andrews said.
On Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services reported two active cases in Bendigo.
The number of cases in regional Victoria has grown by two, to 74.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Professor Allen Cheng said the new Bendigo case is part of a known family cluster.
A new case in Campaspe Shire, reported on Thursday, has drawn the attention of a specialist committee, to examine the case's origin, which is currently unknown.
"There is a case in Echuca from yesterday that we are looking into more closely," Professor Cheng said.
"We are standing up an expert committee to look at that case closely.
"There are no other cases from that area and no known contacts from that person and any other cases."
A condition of regional Victoria moving to the next step of the COVID-19 roadmap is to have no COVID-19 cases of unknown source.
Professor Cheng confirmed that if the origin of the case couldn't be found, it would set back regional Victoria's plans to move to the next step of the COVID-19 roadmap.
"There is a bit of judgment in that and we will need to look at this case closely," he said.
Earlier, Mr Andrews said regional Victorians are poised to progress to the next steps of the COVID-19 roadmap.
"We will have more to say next week," Mr Andrews said.
The 14-day rolling average number of active cases in regional Victoria is 4.7.
"It is possible to drive these numbers down to a low level and keep them low, which is the experience in regional Victoria," Mr Andrews said.
To move to the next stage of the roadmap, the 14-day rolling average has to be five cases or fewer.
There were 43 new COVID-19 cases recorded in Victoria on Friday, with nine deaths, taking the death toll from the virus to 710.
Of the 1336 active COVID-19 cases in Victoria, 140 people are in hospital receiving treatment, with 12 of those in intensive care.
The Department of Health and Human Services will provide an update of COVID-19 cases by local government area on Friday afternoon.
Emergency department presentations decline
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos urged Victorians to seek urgent medical care, if required, to avoid adverse health outcomes, as presentations to hospital emergency departments plummeted in August.
"We need to remain vigilant that we don't neglect other health needs," Ms Mikakos said.
"There are some concerning trends around attendances at emergency departments.
"This suggests people are putting off seeking urgent and important medical care.
August is typically a very busy month for emergency departments.
"Presentations for heart attack are down 18 per cent, stroke down 24 per cent and there has been a 30 per cent reduction in reports for five common cancers," Ms Mikakos said.
"People who are putting off screening for cancers is resulting in less being reported.
"Those are colorectal, prostate, breast and breast cancer and melanoma."
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