Victoria could soon ditch face masks as state records zero COVID-19 infections for fifth day in row

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Victorians could soon ditch their face masks as the state recorded no new Covid-19 cases for the fifth consecutive day.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said on Sunday that face masks were only useful if there was community transmission.

‘What we shouldn’t be complacent about is thinking that if we’ve got a few days with no cases, that there is never a requirement for masks,’ he said. 

His comment followed the announcement Victoria had reported no new Covid-19 cases or deaths, marking the fourth ‘double doughnut’ day of zero new cases.

Mr Sutton would not elaborate how many days the state would need to go without any cases of Covid-19 before face masks were no longer necessary. 

‘It’s not entirely clear,’ he said.

‘We’ve got a roadmap where we’ve talked about the ‘Last Step’ coming with 14 days of no new cases. That would be a significant achievement.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said the face masks were only useful if there was community transmission as the state announced no new COVID-19 cases or deaths on Sunday

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said the face masks were only useful if there was community transmission as the state announced no new COVID-19 cases or deaths on Sunday

Mr Sutton would not elaborate how many days the state would need to go without any cases of COVID-19 before face masks were no longer necessary (pictured, Melbourne residents take a walk over the weekend)

Mr Sutton would not elaborate how many days the state would need to go without any cases of COVID-19 before face masks were no longer necessary (pictured, Melbourne residents take a walk over the weekend)

Mr Sutton noted regional Victoria had gone without any new cases of COVID-19 for a few weeks though mask wearing was still in place over transmission concerns (pictured, residents pack onto a Melbourne street over the weekend)

Mr Sutton noted regional Victoria had gone without any new cases of COVID-19 for a few weeks though mask wearing was still in place over transmission concerns (pictured, residents pack onto a Melbourne street over the weekend)

‘It is absolutely not impossible and we’re on track for that in November, that would be great. Twenty-eight days of no cases and no active cases, we’ve talked about as the ‘Covid Normal Step’. 

‘That’s also within reach and we’d make decisions about masks for those thresholds as well.’

Mr Sutton noted regional Victoria had gone without any new cases of Covid-19 for a few weeks though mask wearing was still in place over transmission concerns.

‘Country Victoria went for a few weeks with zero cases but all the people of Shepparton, I’m sure, were very happy that they were wearing masks at the time that there were three active cases out in the community for over a week before we understood that they were active cases,’ he said.

‘So masks are important for those potential transmission events when we don’t know that there’s something out there.

‘Clearly we will be transitioning … we will be transitioning from universal mask-wearing to maybe indoors only, to maybe just high-risk settings at the appropriate time.’

Mr Sutton also warned pubs and restaurants to follow Covid-19 safety measures, saying there were a number of venues that weren’t following the rules. 

‘Do the right thing by your customers,’ he said.

‘As a customer, you should ask and you should question if you’re not seeing that happen.

Mr Sutton also warned pubs and restaurants to follow COVID-19 safety measures, saying there were a number of venues that weren't following the rules

Mr Sutton also warned pubs and restaurants to follow COVID-19 safety measures, saying there were a number of venues that weren’t following the rules

There is one mystery case of coronavirus without a known source in Melbourne and the city's average daily case count for the fortnight up to Saturday was 2.2

There is one mystery case of coronavirus without a known source in Melbourne and the city’s average daily case count for the fortnight up to Saturday was 2.2

There are just 61 active cases left across the state, down from 70 on Saturday

There are just 61 active cases left across the state, down from 70 on Saturday

‘If you can’t find the book where you record your name and details, ask for it. If you’re seeing a waiter or a waitress without a mask, demand it. It is a case of calling industry up to the standards that we’re setting.

‘There are a few out there who are not.’      

There is one mystery case of coronavirus without a known source in Melbourne and the city’s average daily case count for the fortnight up to Saturday was 2.2.

It means the state’s Covid-19 death toll remains at 819, and 907 for the nation.

There are just 61 active cases left across the state, down from 70 on Saturday.

Source


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