DHHS COVID-19 News Release for Thursday 19 November 2020

Here are the key points from the release dated 19 November 2020. Also included is the full release from DHHS

DHHS COVID-19 News Release for Thursday 19 November 2020

Posted by: Charles Pakana
Posted: 19 November 2020

Click here to read/download the full news release


Authorised officers from the Department of Health and Human Services are continuing to meet all arriving aircraft from Adelaide as South Australia works to bring their coronavirus outbreak under control.

Yesterday two flights from Adelaide arrived at Tullamarine.  A total of 237 passengers were screened and 171 were tested.  All the tested passengers were from the Adelaide metropolitan area and none had attended the current high-risk locations in Adelaide.

None of the passengers were showing any symptoms of COVID-19 and there have been no positive cases identified from the planes.

The Victorian Government today announced temporary border controls with South Australia will be implemented from tonight.

From 11.59pm Thursday 19 November, a “hard border” will be in place at the South Australian border for 48 hours before a permit system comes into effect from 11.59pm Saturday 21 November.

This move follows the discovery of fragments of SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes coronavirus, in wastewater taken from the Benalla and Portland wastewater treatment plants on Tuesday.

These test results, in towns along freight routes between Victoria and South Australia, are unexpected and combined with confirmed community transmission in Adelaide, led to public health advice recommending the temporary border closure announced today.

Residents of Benalla and Portland and anyone who has visited those areas between 15 and 17 November are urged to get tested and to isolate until they get their test result.

New testing sites are being established in Benalla and Portland.

The Benalla site will operate from the Dartmoor Truck Stop, 2.8km south-west of Dartmoor on the Princess Highway at Winnap, from tomorrow from 2pm to 6pm and then from Saturday onwards from 10am to 6pm.

The Portland site location will be confirmed tomorrow but will be operating from 2pm to 6pm tomorrow and from 10am to 6pm from Saturday onwards.

From today, interstate truck drivers travelling through Victoria from South Australia will be offered testing at a new site at the Nhill Trailer Exchange on the Western Highway. Other testing sites will be progressively added at other major freight routes in coming days. Truck drivers can also be tested at any of the 193 other testing sites across Victoria.

While the risk of a truck driver from South Australia bringing COVID-19 into Victoria is low, we are working with the major interstate freight companies, independent operators and industry peak bodies to provide advice about the need for testing.

Test samples will be fast-tracked for analysis and drivers will be allowed to continue their journey and will be contacted once their results are known.

We are continuing to monitor the situation in South Australia and are working closely with South Australian health authorities. Victorian contact tracers are also assisting South Australia with their contact tracing efforts. This support is being provided from Victoria.

Victorian public health authorities continue to work closely with returning SA travellers to determine if they have arrived from metropolitan Adelaide and are following up with these cases to ensure they are isolating as required.

We have also identified 46 people who are in Victoria who have left Hotel Quarantine in South Australia and are required to undertake another period of quarantine in Victoria..

Individuals are asked to quarantine for 14 days from the last time they were at the hotel. They will also undergo a Day 11 test towards the end of this quarantine period to ensure no asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic infections are missed.

They can quarantine at home if they are able to do so safely and appropriately. Support  services are available to assist these people during their quarantine period and relief accommodation is available for individuals who cannot complete their quarantine at home.

Anyone who has been in SA in the last 14 days should check the exposure sites listed on the SA Health website and take the appropriate actions.  And if they have any symptoms, no matter how mild, they should get tested and self-isolate until the result is available.

Victoria has recorded no new cases of coronavirus since yesterday, with the total number of cases now at 20,345.

There have been no new deaths from COVID-19 reported since yesterday. To date, 819 people have died from coronavirus in Victoria.

This is the 20th straight day where Victoria has recorded zero daily new cases or deaths.

The average number of cases diagnosed in the last 14 days (5 Nov – 18 Nov 2020) for metropolitan Melbourne is zero and regional Victoria is zero. The rolling daily average case number is calculated by averaging out the number of new cases over the past 14 days.

The total number of cases from an unknown source in the last 14 days (3 Nov – 16 Nov 2020) is zero for metropolitan Melbourne and zero from regional Victoria. The 14-day period for the source of acquisition data ends 48 hours earlier than the 14-day period used to calculate the new case average due to the time required to fully investigate a case and assign its mode of acquisition.

Yesterday the Department reported a repeat positive swab in a previously diagnosed case of COVID-19 that was notified to the department on 17 November and was considered a case of persistent shedding and not a new infection.

The Expert Review Panel have considered the case and additional test results and have confirmed this to be persistent shedding and not a new case.  Precautionary measures that were in place will now be stood down.

In Victoria at the current time:

  • 3762 cases may indicate community transmission – no change since yesterday
  • 3 cases are currently active in Victoria. All active cases are in metropolitan Melbourne
  • 2 cases of coronavirus are in hospital, there are no cases in intensive care
  • 19,523 people have recovered from the virus
  • A total of 3,457,275 test results have been received which is an increase of 17,161 since yesterday

Of the total cases:

  • 18,968 cases are from metropolitan Melbourne, while 1197 are from regional Victoria
  • Total cases include 9702 men and 10,630 women
  • Total number of healthcare workers: 3573, active cases: 0

As public health work is undertaken throughout the day, outbreak totals are likely to change as the public health team identify links between cases and identified outbreaks. Organisation based outbreak totals include contacts as well as employees/residents/staff/students of that location/business.

Information regarding COVID-19 is available at the Department of Health and Human Services website or by calling 1800 675 398. Testing site details are available here: dhhs.vic.gov.au/where-get-tested-covid-19

Current exposure sites from the South Australian outbreak are on the SA Health website: sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/conditions/infectious+diseases/covid-19/testing+and+tracing/contact+tracing/contact+tracing


Click here to read/download the full news release

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