Victoria smashes the virus: State hits official covid elimination goal after 28 straight days with no new cases
- Friday marked 28 straight days without any new cases of COVID-19 in Victoria
- The state was once overrun with almost 8,000 active cases, but now has none
- State has recorded 28 consecutive days of zero infections and eased restrictions
- Victoria recorded 20,345 coronavirus cases and 819 deaths since it all began
Victoria has officially eliminated COVID-19 as Friday marks four weeks without a new case.
The state had once been overrun with almost 8,000 active cases but the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the good news Friday morning.
Some 9828 Victorians were tested in the past 24 hours, and no new deaths were also recorded on Friday.
Health authorities say 28 days with no new cases means the virus has been eliminated from the community, given that period represents two 14-day incubation periods.
Victoria has officially eliminated COVID-19 as Friday marks four weeks without a new case. Premier Daniel Andrews pictured
Melbourne Town Hall is dressed up for Christmas festivities, but it remains to be seen if anyone will celebrate in town with it
Just three months ago, Victoria reached 7880 active cases on August 11.
The last COVID-19 patient in a Victorian hospital was discharged on Monday, leaving the state without an active case.
Despite the good news, the Department of Health and Human Services has warned more virus fragments have been found as part of its wastewater surveillance testing program.
This time it was detected in a sample from a treatment plant in the Geelong suburb of Corio, with residents and visitors from Saturday to Tuesday urged to come forward for testing.
Hotel quarantine was the ignition point for the state’s devastating second wave, which killed more than 750 people and infected more than 18,000 others.
An inquiry into the botched program will hold its final hearing on Friday, with new statements from Premier Daniel Andrews, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton and others expected to be released.
Families line up for a look at the Myer Christmas Windows on Tuesday
The premier is also set to face questions over the state’s handling of the crisis as he appears before the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee.
Ahead of the state’s hotel quarantine system restarting for international arrivals on December 7, Mr Andrews all but ruled out a move to home quarantine – a key recommendation of the inquiry’s interim report.
‘We’re going to have a hotel-based system but it will look and be different to what it was last time,’ he said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Tasmania will become the latest state to reopen to Victoria on Friday after NSW removed its border checkpoints on Monday.
Queensland will follow suit on December 1.