Media release
21 March 2020

Fifty-one new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were confirmed yesterday – bringing the total number of cases in Victoria to 229.

The new cases include 30 men and 19 women, with two further cases still under investigation. Ages range from early-teens to late seventies.

At present, there are two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria that may have been acquired through community transmission. Currently five people are recovering in hospital. More than 20,500 Victorians have been tested to date. Fifty-one people have recovered.

Of the total 229 cases in Victoria, the majority have been identified in and around metropolitan Melbourne, with twelve in regional Victoria.

The regional Victoria cases have occurred in the Local Government Areas of Greater Geelong (5 cases) and Hepburn, Surf Coast, Warrnambool, Macedon Ranges, Mildura, Latrobe and Ballarat, that all have one case.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said we will continue to see more cases of COVID-19 in Victoria.

“We will continue to provide up-to-date information to the community. We are all focused on doing whatever is necessary to minimise the spread of infection to keep Victorians safe,” Professor Sutton said.

“For the virus to spread, extended close personal contact is most likely required. Close personal contact is at least 15 minutes face-to-face or more than two hours in the same room.

“We urge the public to take steps now to minimise the risk of COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in protecting yourself and your family. Hands should be washed regularly with soap and water. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you are ill, stay at home.”

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 and all people arriving from any international destination must also self-isolate.

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. Further information is also available at on the Coronarivus page.

Media inquiries

Department of Health & Human Services Media Unit (03) 9096 8860 or press@dhhs.vic.gov.au