Victoria has recorded 216 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, down from the 288 new cases recorded the previous day.
A man in his 90s died overnight while 49 remain in hospital, including 15 in intensive care, Premier Daniel Andrews said on July 11.
More than 180 of the new cases are still under investigation, with 30 linked to known outbreaks.
It takes the total number of cases in the state to 3560 and the national death toll to 107.
There’s a warning of more ugliness to come.
“We will see more and more additional cases, that’s the nature of this,” Andrews said.
He’s called on Victorians not to look for loopholes to get around restrictions, as it was revealed a plateau in the second outbreak numbers could be starting already.
Individuals thinking it won’t matter if they don’t comply with the rules will only lead to longer lockdowns, he said.
“It isn’t for them to make that judgement because it’s not just them who pays the price, we all will because the lockdown will go longer,” he said.
The premier said people were noticeably taking on board the recommendation that they wear masks in public when out and about for one of the four allowed reasons.
“The wearing of masks could well be a really important feature of the next part of our pandemic response,” he said.
Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said he would expect to start seeing a plateau in cases, most likely in the next three to five days, as lockdown measures had some effect.
“The main thing is the mobility data – it’s really showing a very substantial decrease in people’s mobility, their numbers of interactions with other people,” he said.
Single cases are still being recorded among staff in aged care facilities, and Victoria has had more aged care outbreaks than any other state, but the response has meant none have been substantial, he said.
Australia is still pursuing a strategy of suppressing rather than eliminating the virus, but Sutton hopes both could be achieved.
“(Elimination) is not the national decision at the moment … I would hope that we don’t close ourselves of to a re-evaluation and reappraisal of what’s feasible and what the pros and cons are,” Sutton said.
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said new testing facilities are being opened across the lockdown area, with the aim being for every person in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire to have a site within 10km of their homes.
Around 20-25,000 Victorians are being tested daily and capacity in the state’s pathology labs has increased to 25,000 tests a day.
Interstate labs are also being used to test Victorian samples.
The premier said he had accepted all offers of support from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Defence force staff have been deployed at checkpoints, and more are on their way, he said.
“If I need something I ring the prime minister and he says ‘yes’,” he said.
Karen Sweeney in Melbourne