Eight new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were confirmed yesterday – bringing the total number of cases in Victoria to 57.

The new cases include six men and two women with ages ranging from their teens to 60s.

One is a student - a known contact of case 17, a teacher from Carey Grammar. The student was not at school during their infectious period. The school will remain closed until the holidays. And, as a precaution, 12 classmates will home-isolate.

All cases are recovering at home in isolation. All were acquired overseas or through close contact with known, confirmed cases of COVID-19.

At the present time, there remains only one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Victoria that may have been acquired through community transmission.

Victorian Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said we expect to see more and more cases of COVID-19 in Victoria.

“We are reviewing this rapidly evolving situation daily and will continue to provide up-to-date information to the community,” Professor Sutton said.

“I am focused on doing whatever is necessary to minimise the spread of infection and keep Victorians safe.

“For the virus to spread, extended close personal contact is most likely required. All Victorians should be aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. “Close personal contact is at least 15 minutes face-to-face or more than 2 hours in the same room. At the moment, we urge the public to be mindful and take steps to minimise the risk of COVID-19.

“Everyone also has a role to play in protecting yourself and your family. Hands should be washed regularly with soap and water. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you are ill, stay at home.”

The Department of Health and Human Services follows up and monitors all close contacts of confirmed cases and provides them with information and support. All close contacts must self-isolate for 14-days.

As we now have 57 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victorians, we will be moving away from reporting public exposure sites.

Extensive testing has shown that people who have passed through places where there was a confirmed case, known as casual contacts, have an extremely low risk of transmission.

Over a thousand casual contacts have been tested in Victoria to date without any positive findings.

This will help to ensure our hospitals, assessment centres and general practitioners can prioritise testing for those most at risk.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has a hotline for public information on COVID-19 which is 1800 675 398. Large numbers of calls will result in some delays and we ask Victorians for their patience as we work to manage the volume. Further information is also available on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) section on the DHHS website.

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