Australia's Victoria requires masks for Melbourne hit by Covid-19


Face masks or face coverings will be mandatory for people who leave their homes for the four legal reasons in metropolitan Melbourne and in the Mitchell Shire from 11.59 p.m. on July 22, Andrews said.

Victorian Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said the nature of aged care employment was often casual, meaning several workers were moving between different homes and facilities.

Announcing the new rule on Sunday morning, Mr Andrews stressed that there is no need for the covering to be a surgical mask.

But there are some reasons for not wearing a masks such as medical reasons, children aged under 12, a professional reason or if not practical - like running - but individuals need to carry a mask with them.

In our schools, that'll mean teachers don't have to wear a face covering while teaching - but students attending for VCE, VCAL or for onsite supervision will, while everyone will be expected to wear one on the way to and from school.

The State of Emergency has been extended until 11.59pm on August 16.

Victoria's coronavirus outbreak is being fought on multiple fronts with daily case increases in clusters linked to hospitals, aged care, public housing and other sites. Health officials are concerned about the transmission rate, which they say is higher than in Victoria.

Andrews added that even if symptoms are mild, people should still get tested.

"There are a number of people, maybe as many as one-third of those residents who are either those contacts of somebody who has tested positive for someone who has tested positive while that lockdown has been in place, so they still have days where they need to be in their residence and nowhere else".

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While the current swab test is used to identify people who are infected with the coronavirus, the agglutination assay - or analysis to detect the presence and amount of a substance in blood - can also determine if someone had been recently infected, after the infection is resolved, they said.

Victoria's Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said the mandating of mark usage is an "important tool that we will use to minimise the spread of this virus".

Data current as of 1800 AEST July 18, taking in federal government and state/territory government updates, Worldometer and Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.

"I understand this is a big shift and that not being able to see each other's faces might be confronting". There's no vaccine to this wildly infectious virus and it's a simple thing, but it's about changing habits, it's about becoming a simple part of your routine.

"By covering our faces, we're protecting ourselves, our families and every single Victorian".

"That includes the tough decision to introduce further visitation restrictions to healthcare and aged care settings".

"Do we believe that Victoria can succeed and that we can beat this virus?"

Mr Andrews said on a call with regional journalists that an easing in the bush wouldn't happen "next week", but was still the intention.