Media release
19 February 2021

Victoria has recorded thee new cases of coronavirus.

All three cases are locally acquired and linked to the Holiday Inn. The total number of COVID-19 cases now linked to the Holiday Inn is 22.

There are no new cases in returned travellers in currently in hotel quarantine.

There are 27 active cases in Victoria, made up of 20 locally acquired cases and seven overseas acquired cases. There are seven cases in hotel quarantine.

There is one COVID-19 patient in hospital in Victoria at this time, currently in ICU. 

The total number of confirmed cases in Victoria since the beginning of the pandemic is 20,479.

Update: Holiday Inn Cases

There are three new cases of COVID-19 linked to the Holiday Inn.

The cases include two parents and a child from the same family. All have been quarantining at home through their infectious period.

Two members of that family were previous residents of Level 3 at the Holiday Inn and were primary close contacts of the outbreak. One is a member of that household but was not a returning traveller. He was considered a secondary close contact and was required to remain in quarantine as he had chosen to remain in the house with his family after they had been identified as primary close contacts.

All three had a negative test between 10 and 12 February. All three received positive results on 18 February for their Day 11 tests.

A positive case connected to the Holiday Inn has been moved to ICU. The individual is in a stable condition and we wish them a full recovery.

In relation to the Holiday Inn cases, we have identified 3515 primary close contacts, which includes 59 primary close contacts linked to households and social groups and 1342 primary close contacts linked to exposure sites. The remainder are from hotel quarantine or Melbourne Airport Terminal 4.

In relation to the Melbourne Airport Terminal 4 exposure site, following comprehensive testing of primary close contacts and further investigation of the movements of the positive case, we will be refining the group who are considered highest risk.

The public health team will be calling current primary close contacts from the airport over the coming days to assess their individual risk and understand where they went in the terminal. These individuals will be contacted by us directly – please do not self-assess your own situation.

The number of identified close contacts, particularly those linked to exposure sites, will continue to change as exposure sites and cohorts are cleared and others are identified.

Of primary close contacts identified by the Department on 15 February, 99.7 per cent were notified within the 48-hour benchmark. The average over seven days is 99.8 per cent.

Update: Grand Hyatt cases

The Department has also begun to clear significant numbers of primary close contacts linked to the Grand Hyatt.

Of the 1507 primary close contacts identified, 942 now remain. Our teams made 347 calls yesterday to clear individuals – and those calls will continue.

COVID-19 vaccination program

From Monday, Victorians who are most at risk of getting coronavirus will start receiving vaccinations.

This includes hotel quarantine workers, port of entry workers, and frontline health staff who are most likely to come into contact with suspected COVID-19 cases due to where they work – such as specialist COVID wards, or major ICUs where suspected cases are referred.

We will also commence vaccinating public sector aged care staff and residents – while the Commonwealth are responsible for private aged care and the disability sector.

That work will all commence from our hubs at Austin Health, Barwon Health, Western Health and Monash Health. Monash Health will also work with the Alfred Health on the initial rollout to high-risk workers.

All hospital vaccination hubs will come online in the coming weeks once the critical, high-risk workforce is vaccinated.

As new supplies of vaccine are approved, manufactured and provided by the Commonwealth, we will be able to expand the rollout even further.

For more information visit COVID-19 Vaccines

Viral fragments detected in expanded wastewater monitoring program

Victorians with even the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms are being urged to get tested following the detection of viral fragments in Victoria’s expanded wastewater monitoring program.

Weak detections of viral fragments have been found in a wastewater sample collected on 15 February from the Wantirna South and Boronia area, and in samples collected on 16 February in the Carrum Downs and Langwarrin area, and in the St Kilda, Caulfield and Caulfield North area.

Anyone who has any symptoms of COVID-19 is urged to get tested, especially if you live in or have visited one of these areas during these periods:

  • Wantirna South or Boronia from 13 to 15 February (includes parts of Bayswater, Ferntree Gully, Knoxfield and Tremont)
  • Carrum Downs or Langwarrin from 13 to 16 February (includes parts of Skye)
  • St Kilda East or Caufield North from 13 to 16 February (includes parts of Balaclava, Caulfield and Elsternwick).

Wastewater monitoring is now undertaken at 71 wastewater treatment plants across the state and 61 sites within Melbourne metropolitan sewage networks.

Fragments of the virus detected in wastewater may be due to a person with COVID-19 being in the early active infectious phase or it could be because someone is continuing to shed the virus after the early infectious period.

Further information about the wastewater testing program can be found at Wastewater monitoring.

Update: Expanded testing capacity

21,292 test results were received over the last 24 hours.

We are very grateful to all of those Victorians who have already been tested. As we work to close out cases linked to the Holiday Inn, the most important thing to do to get tested.

The best way to identify if unexpected wastewater detections are of significance are if people get tested.

Our rapid response teams are still activated, and our in-home testing is still taking place.

With high temperatures forecast over coming days, some testing sites may have to close or alter their hours of operation.

We have also advised the public to make sure they have plenty of water, fuel and other necessary items in case they experience a lengthy wait.

We thank them for their patience while our staff do their utmost to keep them and the community safe

The department is publishing expected wait times at testing sites as well as updated information about locations and hours of operation at Where to get tested.

Update: Circuit-breaker actions lifted

Restrictions under Victoria’s circuit-breaker actions have ended. From 11:59pm 17 February 2021 Victoria returned to COVIDSafe Summer restrictions – with some revised conditions.

There are no longer only four reasons to leave home and the five-kilometre restriction no longer applies. Schools, restaurants and retails can reopen and both public and private office workers can return up to 50 per cent on site.

The circuit breaker has worked, but there is still more work to do with around 3400 primary close contacts still isolating.

There are a number of revised conditions that will continue for another nine days until Friday 26 February, subject to public health advice.

These include:

  • Limiting visitors to your home to five people per day
  • Limiting public gatherings with friends and family to 20 people
  • Limiting visitors to hospitals and aged care facilities to one household per day with some specific exceptions.

Face masks must continue be worn indoors, except in residential homes. Face masks are also required outdoors whenever you cannot physically distance.

For more information about all the circuit-breaker actions, please visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria.

General advice

Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath and loss or change in sense of smell or taste. If you are experiencing any symptoms, wear a fitted face mask when you get tested.

Travel permit applications can be made through the Service Victoria portal.

For more information call the 24-hour Coronavirus Hotline at 1800 675 398 or visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria

Latest statewide numbers (data reported to 11:59 pm yesterday):

Cases acquired locally Cases acquired interstate Cases acquired overseas Active cases Lives lost Tests processed yesterday Total tests since pandemic began 
3 0 0 27 0 21,292 4,834,041


Number of permits issued 

(Jan 11 - 8am today)

Number of permit applications processed in the past 24 hours Average # of permits issued per minute in the past 24 hours 
740,757 14,003 9.7