COVID-19 Daily Update: Three new cases in Victoria

Three more Victorians have been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 overnight, bringing the state’s total to 1364.

No further deaths have been recorded, with the state’s death toll remaining at 18 while 16 people have been hospitalised with seven in intensive care.

The Department of Health has had no new cases reported in Mitchell Shire (9), City of Whittlesea (22) and Macedon Ranges Shire (7), with no increase in the three municipalities for almost two weeks.

New entertainment portal

The State Government announced a new online portal this morning, showcasing Victoria’s best in entertainment.

The free streaming service is designed to keep Victorians connected and help keep creators creating features live music and comedy and even the animals of Melbourne Zoo.

The portal will also be home to a online series developed with music label Mushroom Group, State of Music, which will feature weekly performances from some of Victoria’s best homegrown talent.

The first episode launches on Sunday night.

The site will be supported by a grants and partnerships program of $2.35 million to help support creators digitise their content and generate new experiences online for Victorians while content will be curated by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Victoria Together also provides a one-stop-shop for Victoria’s existing online attractions, including ACMI’s film screenings, Zoos Victoria’s ‘Animal House’ livestream and virtual tours of exhibitions and galleries across the state. It also includes exercise and wellbeing resources.

Hotels for Heroes expanded

Access to free accommodation has been extended to emergency services and other frontline workers if they need to self-isolate due to the coronavirus.

Hotels for Heroes provides free accommodation in hotels or apartments for frontline workers who have had exposure to coronavirus or have a positive coronavirus diagnosis and cannot safely self-isolate at home.

The program is already available to clinical and non-clinical hospital staff – including cooks and cleaners – at public and private hospitals that directly engage with patients, as well as frontline paramedics and patient transport staff.

Under the expansion, free hotel and apartment rooms will also be made available to Victoria Police, youth justice, Corrections Victoria, and Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Country Fire Authority firefighters involved in emergency medical response.

Staff working in disability supported independent living, public sector residential aged care, Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations, community-based pharmacy, hospital laboratories, and workers in primary care settings would also be eligible for free accommodation to self-isolate under the expansion.