More Melburnians could soon be locked down if they live in suburbs that have a high number of COVID-19 cases.
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos on Thursday revealed four postcodes with the highest number of new cases in the past week – 3064, 3060, 3047 and 3031.
While 10 suburbs in 3064, 3060 and 3047 were locked down earlier this week, the neighbouring suburbs of Flemington and Kensington in 3031 have not.
The inner suburbs could be next in line for stay at home orders as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said on Friday that the lockdown could be extended to other areas.
Victoria is currently facing 442 active cases of COVID-19 but only half of the cases are contained within the 10 lockdown postcodes, which included 36 suburbs.
Cars line up at a drive-through testing clinic for COVID-19 in Melbourne on Saturday. So far 36 suburbs are in lockdown and two more, Kensington and Flemington, could soon join them
‘I can’t rule out further restrictions and we certainly can’t rule out other postcodes,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘(Decisions) are done by case numbers in geographical area – that’s not a matter of running a commentary on that postcode or the people who live in and work there.
‘It’s simply a statement of fact that you’ve got a problem, and you need to take really significant action to pull this up.
‘I’m not announcing that today, I’m not even foreshadowing, I am simply saying you can’t rule that out because we are being driven by the data, and the data obviously changes from day to day.’
The Premier explained health agencies are using a formula to determine if a postcode is a ‘hotspot’ that needs to be locked down, which has three criteria.
The three criteria are: a case rate more than twice the state average, a rate of cases more than 20 per 100,000 persons and more than five cases notified.
An aerial view of the famous Flemington Racecourse with the Melbourne CBD in the back. The exact number of cases in the suburb is not known
An empty park in Kensington, in the postcode 3031, which has not been put into lockdown despite having the highest number of cases in the past week
The Victorian Health Department has not released figures for postcode 3031 since it is not considered a ‘priority postcode’ by its formula.
Flemington and Kensington border with Ascot Vale and Travancore in the locked-down 3032, which has nine active cases.
The suburbs are also in the Moonee Valley and Melbourne local government areas, which have 32 active cases each.
But this statistic is not an accurate representation since it includes other postcodes and many hotels housing returned travellers in quarantine.
Flemington and Kensington are two of a number of others not yet identified as hotspots or even listed for lockdown.
The other suburbs include City of Melbourne with 39 active cases, Wyndham with 22, Casey with 21, Melton with 19, Yarra with 12 and Whittlesea with 21.
Melbourne has locked down 36 of its suburbs to get ahead of the spread of COVID-19. The suburbs (pictured) are located across 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs)
As of Friday, there are 442 active cases across the state – with only half of these in the locked down hotspot suburbs.
The figure is 66 more than the day before in what is Melbourne’s 17th consecutive day of double-digit increases.
More than 10,000 people in Victoria recently refused to be tested for COVID-19 in a suburban testing blitz, which started on June 25.
More than 880,000 COVID-19 tests have been done in the state since the start of the year, with 24,430 tests conducted on Thursday alone.
There have been 2,368 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Victoria since the pandemic began.
Two shoppers walk through an empty shopping area in Melbourne. The city had its 17th consecutive day of double digit increases in COVID-19 on Friday