Victoria records 14 new cases of coronavirus, no deaths

Victoria recorded 14 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday and no deaths – nine days out from the next slated stage of restrictions easing.

The latest cases keep the statewide 14-day average, which is tied to the next stage of easing lockdown, at 9.9 new cases per day.

The number of 'mystery' cases with an unknown source over the past two weeks – measured between September 24 and October 7 – is down to 10.

For Melbourne to move to step three of the government's road map out of lockdown on October 19, Victoria's 14-day average for new cases was hoped to be below five. Under the plan, there was also meant be five or fewer mystery cases between October 4 and October 18 in order for restrictions to be eased on schedule.

We are now within that crucial fortnight meaning that the case numbers we see every day are directly determining whether the targets are met and the lockdown is eased.

But Premier Daniel Andrews and Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton have tempered their language this week, as it becomes more likely the state will not hit those targets.

Melbourne is scheduled to see many restrictions ease on October 19, including the five-kilometre rule and limits on retail, hairdressing and outdoor dining.



Professor Sutton earlier this week said he believed it would be "line ball" call on whether the state reaches the targets, while Premier Andrews moved to assure the public that some restrictions will lift, but they may be small.

Melbourne now has a 50 per cent chance or less of meeting the October 19 thresholds, according to new Doherty Institute modelling.

The Doherty Institute modelling suggested on Friday it will be a tight call on whether Victoria reaches a 14-day average of five cases per day by next Monday as daily new numbers had jumped between single and double digits all week.

Professor McVernon and Professor McCaw, who provide modelling to the state government, said the behaviour of individuals would be crucial to controlling the spread of the virus.

"It's clear Melbourne cannot stay in lockdown indefinitely," they said. "Lockdowns are an emergency brake on widespread community transmission."

11 cases were recorded on Friday, six of which were linked to known outbreaks, including two to Uniting AgeWell in Preston and single cases to the Frankston family outbreak, the Oddfellows Cafe in Kilmore, the Chadstone shopping centre outbreak and an outbreak at Box Hill Hospital that grew to four on Friday.

Professor Sutton said he was "as frustrated as anyone" at plateauing case numbers. He said that while Chadstone and Kilmore did not pose as much of a threat to lifting restrictions as mystery cases, they could not be ignored.

"[Outbreaks] are not completely cast aside. Of course, whenever there is an active outbreak, there's potential for other contacts to slip through, people who don't quarantine appropriately, people who don't get identified," he said.

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