Virus cases rise

THE number of COVID-19 cases in the City of Whittlesea reached 18 yesterday, an increase of two cases from the day before.

As the state total recorded 1158 cases on Monday, the number of suspected community transmissions, where the source of the virus cannot be traced back to someone who had travelled overseas, increased by 13 cases to 88.

City of Whittlesea council meetings are set for tonight, but council has encouraged interested residents to watch from home through live streaming services.

“Under the State Government stage three physical distancing restrictions there are four reasons to leave your house: for food and supplies, exercise, medical care and caregiving, and for work and education – if necessary,” a council spokesperson said.

Parks Victoria moved to close Yan Yean Reservoir on Friday, along with several other parks, to prevent high visitation rates.

As Easter approaches, Werribee Gorge State Park, You Yangs Regional Park, Sugarloaf Reservoir Park and the Redwood Forest visitor site in the Yarra Ranges National Park were also closed.

The parks are in addition to several already closed sites, including the Twelve Apostles Visitor Centre and lookouts and the 1000 steps in the Dandenong Ranges.

All campgrounds, playgrounds, barbeque facilities, water drinking fountains, picnic shelters and tables, toilets and viewing platforms on Parks Victoria-managed land have also been closed.

“Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, Parks Victoria staff will monitor visitation rates with the possibility of further changes to park closures, pending advice from health authorities,” a Parks Victoria spokesperson said.

Yesterday Victoria recorded two COVID-19 related deaths, a man in his 50s died in hospital and a woman in her 80s died at home, taking the number of fatalities in the state from coronavirus to 10.