Media release
23 March 2020

Sixty-one new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were confirmed yesterday – bringing the total number of cases in Victoria to 355. 

The new cases include 34 men and 25 women, with people aged early-teens to mid-eighties. Two cases remain under investigation. 

At the present time, there are six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria that may have been acquired through community transmission. Currently six people are recovering in hospital, and 97 people have recovered. More than 23,700 Victorians have been tested to date.

Of the total 355 cases, there have been 290 in metropolitan Melbourne and 35 in regional Victoria. A number of cases remain under investigation.

Multiple cases have occurred in the regional local government areas of Greater Geelong (9) Ballarat (4), Baw Baw (2), Greater Shepparton (2), Surf Coast (2), Warrnambool (2), Macedon Ranges (2) and Mitchell (2).

Bass Coast, East Gippsland, Gannawarra, Latrobe, Yarriambiack, Hepburn, Moorabool, Wellington, Mount Alexander and Mildura have all recorded one case.

Two earlier cases were removed after further investigation.  

The Department of Health and Human Services follows up and monitors all close contacts of confirmed cases and provides them with information and support. All close contacts must self-isolate for 14 days.

All people arriving from any international destination must also self-isolate for 14 days as per Commonwealth Government direction.

While most Victorians are voluntarily complying with requests to isolate, Police have strong powers to enforce the direction if it’s required. Under the State of Emergency people who don’t comply with a directive could receive a fine of up to $20,000. Companies face fines of up to $100,000.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said these are unprecedented times. The threat of coronavirus to public health is real and everyone must take social distancing seriously.

“Everyone who’s unwell must isolate themselves and everyone who’s been told they’re in quarantine either as a returned traveller or close contact must do so,” Professor Sutton said.

“Social distancing will save lives.

“Everyone needs to comply with restrictions in place to keep yourself, your loved ones and the whole community safe.

“We urge everyone to stay 1.5 metres away from everyone else, wash your hands often with soap and water and cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.”

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has a hotline for public information on COVID-19 which is 1800 675 398. Large numbers of calls will result in some delays and we ask Victorians for their patience as we work to manage the volume. More information is available on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) page on this site.

Media inquiries

Department of Health & Human Services Media Unit (03) 9096 8860 or email