At least 11 cases of COVID-19 within the Yarra Ranges Shire have been reported to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Data obtained by Star Mail from DHHS has revealed 11 cases of the virus within the Yarra Ranges as well as three cases in Cardinia.
The DHHS figures report a total of 284 cases in Victoria, despite the state’s total infection rate surpassing reaching 411 on Tuesday 24 March, giving the indication that the local cases could be underreported.
The Department only provides information on local government areas (LGAs), so there is no current information to suggest exact suburbs that have been affected.
Instead, the message from the State Government has been blunt – practice social distancing and stay home where possible.
“The message I want to reiterate with Victorians is that if you don’t need to be doing something, then don’t do it,” Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.
“Please try and limit your day to day tasks outside your home… this is the only way we’re going to slow the spread of coronavirus, this is the only way we’re going to flatten the curve to make sure our health system will cope.
“We’re planning for the worst, we are hoping for the best.”
Minister Mikakos urged people to work from home where possible, but acknowledged that not every industry was in a position to do so.
“If as a community, we all do the right thing and engage in strict social distancing, we can try and bring those numbers down,” she said.
“We are prioritising saving people’s lives – that is our absolute focus and if we all do the right thing… then we can reduce the number of lives lost.”
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer professor Brett Sutton said these were “unprecedented” times and the threat of coronavirus was “real”.
“We urge everyone to stay 1.5 metres away from everyone else, wash your hands often with soap and water and cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow,” Prof Sutton said.
For more information on coronavirus, call 1800 675 398 or visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.