COVID-19: Active cases minimal

The Department of Health has released the number of currently active COVID-19 cases in each municipality – Whittlesea has four, Macedon Ranges with one while Mitchell Shire has no active cases.

The total number of cases in each municipality has reached 26 in Whittlesea, nine in Mitchell and eight in Macedon.

Fourteen new confirmed cases were confirmed in Victoria since yesterday, bringing the state’s total number of cases to 1454.

To date, 18 people have died from coronavirus in Victoria, with no new deaths reported yesterday.

The number of recovered cases is 1,322.

Thirteen of the new 14 confirmed cases are part of an outbreak at a Melbourne meat processing facility, taking the total number to 62.

The department of health is working closely with the facility, which has closed its doors for 14 days, to ensure appropriate measures are taken.

All staff at the facility have been or are in the process of being tested.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said that while the curve has been flattened, the battle against coronavirus was far from over.

“Victorians have done a remarkable job so far sticking to the coronavirus restrictions and staying at home has saved lives. But now is not the time for complacency,” he said.

People who are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus are encouraged to get tested, regardless of how mild their symptoms are.

Symptoms to keep an eye out for include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or loss of sense of smell.

Council funding a no-go

The State Government’s announcement that council workers will be ineligible for funding assistance was disappointing and frustrating according to the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV).

MAV believes comments made by Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas were ‘unhelpful’ and ‘ignored much of the good work being done by Victoria’s councils’ in support of their communities and local business through the pandemic.

Services provided by councils include delivering services for community health, safety and well-being, like childcare, community care, childhood immunisations, and waste and recycling services.

MAV president Coral Ross said the exclusion of local government from both federal and state government support programs was a ‘slap in the face’.

“First we had the Federal Government dismiss local government as ‘creatures of State Governments’ and now we have the Victorian Government essentially saying to council workers ‘you’re on your own’,” Cr Ross said.

“These two tiers of government raise more than 96 per cent of the tax collected in Australia. Dedicated council staff in need of support have been left high and dry.

“It isn’t unreasonable that a council employee who can no longer work due ti mandated facility closures might expect some degree of understanding and support from Federal and State Governments when they really need it.”