Victoria reports 76 coronavirus cases and 11 deaths as Daniel Andrews says roadmap not yet 'finalised'

By Elias Visontay

Daniel Andrews says Victoria’s roadmap out of coronavirus lockdown has “not been finalised” as government and health experts meet before the unveiling of the plan on Sunday.

At his press conference on Saturday, the Victorian premier announced 76 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths, five of which were historical cases from recent days.

In New South Wales, five further cases were announced on Saturday, as the Sydney CBD cluster grew to 61, while one additional case was recorded in Queensland and one in South Australia, the state’s first case in 12 days.

When asked for details about the roadmap out of restrictions, Andrews said “those decisions have not been finalised yet”.

“There will be meetings throughout the afternoon and well into the evening, meetings went well into the evening last night,” Andrews told reporters. “The only break from meetings is when I come here to speak to you.”

On Saturday, the state’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton, who declined to comment on the details of the roadmap, said case numbers were slowly heading in the right direction and there was light at the end of the tunnel for the state.

“We are on the winning stretch now, there’s no question,” he said. “This is the last gasp of the virus, and we need to work harder than maybe we’ve ever done before to make sure that that last gasp is, indeed, the last one.

“If we can do everything that’s required now, we will drive those numbers down and we will get to a point where we can keep them down.”

Saturday’s statistics take Victoria’s death toll to 661 and the national death toll to 748. There are 1,956 active cases in the state, a drop from Friday’s figure of 2,060.

A draft version of the roadmap obtained by Guardian Australia indicated a range of incremental liberties would be extended to Victorians from 14 September with the following two weeks still classified as stage-four restrictions.

The draft suggested two people or a household would be allowed to meet outdoors for social interaction from 14 September. It also included a provision for single people and single-parent households to have one nominated person visit their home, who could be from any type of household and could bring dependent children with them.

It said the hour of outdoor exercise Melbourne residents are currently allowed would be extended to two hours from 14 September, which could be split into two sessions.

The draft suggested the curfew in Melbourne would be lifted from 28 September, when the state entered stage three, with five people from two different households expected to be allowed to gather outdoors for social reasons.

The draft indicated childcare would have a wider scale reopening, regardless of a parent’s profession, under stage three, with a phased reopening of schools only in time for term four.

Andrews said if the state were to open up with the current numbers of infection “we would see many, many hundreds, indeed thousands, of Victorians infected with this virus”.

In NSW an additional case was recorded after the 8pm deadline in a health professional who wore PPE while working at Concord hospital on 1 September and Liverpool hospital on 3 September.

With Father’s Day on Sunday, NSW Health has also advised against visiting Sydney, Blue Mountains or Central Coast aged care homes over the weekend.

“We understand this will be difficult for many families on Father’s Day, however our priority is to prevent the spread of the virus into the most vulnerable people in the community,” NSW Health’s Dr Christine Selvey said in a statement on Saturday.

Queensland’s chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young, said the case was a woman in her 60s living on Russell Island in the Metro South Hospital and Health Service area.

“We want to reassure the people of Russell Island and other islands in the area that we’ve been planning for situations like this and we are well prepared to ensure that their health needs are taken care of,” Young said.

“Contact tracing is underway and we will continue to assess the situation and provide the local community with the relevant advice as more information comes to light.”

The South Australian case was in a Melbourne woman in her 20s who was travelling with her family through the state on their way to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

The family is now isolating in South Australian hotel quarantine, as the woman, who is asymptomatic, isolates in a separate room.

Health authorities in South Australia will look to expand testing across the state after Covid-19 was detected in sewage water.

SA Health said one positive sample came back at Bolivar, which has a catchment of 700,000 properties, including the Adelaide CBD. A second positive was returned at Angaston in the Barossa Valley, which serves about 2,000 properties.