Victoria now has more COVID-19 deaths than the rest of Australia combined.
Nine more fatalities reported on July 29 brought the state’s total to 92 and the national figure to 176.
While the number of new cases dropped to 295 from 384 announced on Tuesday and 532 on Monday, Victoria’s aged care outbreaks remain a major concern.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced every positive COVID-19 case should expect a knock on the door.
Australian Defence Force personnel and public health workers have been visiting the homes of known positive cases who could not be contacted, but from Thursday they will door knock all known cases.
Andrews said of the 500 visits already done, people were not home for 29 of them and those cases were referred to police.
“These door knocks aren’t just about checking people are where they should be, it’s also an opportunity where we can say to them, ‘what can we do for you, what do you need’?”
The new deaths on Wednesday were two people in their 90s, five in their 80s, one in their 70s and another aged in their 60s, Andrews said.
Following state and federal intervention into the besieged aged care sector this week, patients are being transferred from the worst-affected homes.
Andrews said nurses from hospitals had also been redeployed to short-staffed nursing homes, with 400 shifts already filled.
The latest state government figures released on Wednesday show there are 952 active cases linked to aged care, with 87 facilities having active outbreaks.
“It is not the fault that those facilities have outbreaks,” said federal health department secretary Brendan Murphy.
“We know that residents and families have often observed breaches … These incursions of this virus into these facilities are essentially unavoidable.”
Carly Waters in Melbourne