Increased community transmission and confirmed student-to-student transmission could mean home learning for Melbourne’s COVID-19 hot spots after the school holidays.
“I will give as much notice as I can around the resumption of school in those restricted postcodes,” he said on July 2.
“I want to see both that we’re turning transmission around but also that we don’t have such levels of community transmission, with students becoming infected, that our resourcing is all focused on response to cases in schools.”
Also on Thursday, the state government confirmed veteran judge Jennifer Coate will lead the inquiry into Victoria’s disastrous hotel quarantine program.
The program is on hold for a fortnight and Corrections Victoria is taking over its operation from private security.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Wednesday said genomic sequencing had traced a big proportion of coronavirus cases to breaches in hotels hosting returned travellers.
The inquiry will report its findings by September 25.
Victoria recorded 77 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, which brought the state’s total to 2303, of which 415 are active.
Of the new cases, 13 are linked to outbreaks, 37 were detected through routine testing and 27 are under investigation. None are in hotel quarantine.
Victoria has recorded double-digit case numbers for 16 days, particularly in Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs, prompting localised lockdowns from Thursday.
Sutton said “When you’ve got 70-odd cases every day, there is absolutely an expectation that some of those people will die,” he said.
So far, 20 Victorians have died of the coronavirus.
Sutton said “We all have to cop it on the chin. The alternative is that there’s increased transmission and that there are more and more postcodes or all of metro Melbourne or all of Victoria that goes into a shutdown.”
By Ulises Izquierdo in Melbourne