More than 300 hospital workers have become infected with Covid-19 in the Australian state of Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews said Saturday, as another 357 new cases of the virus were detected.
Five Victorians died as a result of the coronavirus Friday, the youngest in her 60s, Andrews said. Of the state’s almost 4,000 active cases, 313 are health workers, and 536 are people in aged care settings, both staff and residents.
Andrews said the state faces significant challenges in keeping hospitals staffed and maintaining the safety of aged care residents.
The city of Melbourne and neighboring Mitchell Shire are under “Stage 3” restrictions, meaning residents can only leave their homes to buy food, go to work, exercise, or give and receive care.
Andrews said Saturday that a decision to mandate masks in public places is “essentially stage four” of the restrictions, adding “if they are worn by everybody then we may not need to go further.”
Since the pandemic began, 7,744 cases of the coronavirus have been detected in Victoria, some 3,000 of which have since recovered.
Neighboring New South Wales, previously Australia’s worst hit state, recorded 15 new cases on Friday.