Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

What's new?

Developments in the outbreak

  • As of 21 April 2020, Victoria has 1,336 total confirmed cases, an increase of 7 since yesterday. 
  • 28 people are in hospital, including 12 people in intensive care. 15 people have died. 138 cases have an unknown source of infection, an increase of 2 since yesterday. 1,202 people have recovered. More than 88,000 Victorians have been tested.
  • Of the total 1,336 cases, there have been 1,058 in metropolitan Melbourne and 241 in regional Victoria. A number of cases remain under investigation.
  • There have been 163 confirmed cases in healthcare workers, across at least 7 hospitals and 1 radiology clinic.
  • A total of 44 cases are reported in people in mandatory hotel quarantine (an increase of 1 since yesterday).
  • The total number of cases in Australia is currently  6,626. 
  • Up-to-date epidemiological data is available on our website. 

Key messages for the community

  • The rules are clear - Stay home. Protect the health system. Save lives. 
  • There are only four reasons to leave home: 
    • shopping for what you need - food and essential supplies 
    • medical, care or compassionate needs 
    • exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements 
    • work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely. 

Everyone can protect against infections by practising good hand and respiratory hygiene.

Here are some tips that we all can follow:

1. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue, or cough into your elbow.

2. Dispose of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands afterwards.

3. Wash your hands regularly using soap and water, including after using the toilet, and before eating. Please refer to the Department’s coronavirus web page for the latest advice and information.

All students, except those as stated above, should be attending school.


Please reinforce with your child that it is very important to ensure good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene at all times:

  • Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick. If you take medication ensure you have adequate supplies.
  • Phone your GP first if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
  • Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep.
  • Don't wear a face mask if you are well.
  • Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.
  • Get the flu shot (available April).
  • Shaking hands is optional!

Many people who contract COVID–19 will suffer only mild symptoms. However early indications are that the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms. 

The most common symptoms reported include:

  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties such as breathlessness
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue or tiredness.

COVID-19 spreads through close contact with an infected person; mostly face-to-face or within a household. It cannot jump across a room or be carried for long distances in the air so we should all go about our lives as normal. 

Close contact means greater than 15 minutes face-to-face or the sharing of a closed space for more than two hours with a confirmed case.

A close contact could include any person meeting any of the following criteria:

  • living in the same household or household-like setting (for example, a boarding school or hostel)
  • direct contact with the body fluids or laboratory specimens of a confirmed case 
  • a person who spent two hours or longer in the same room 
  • face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes with the case in any other setting not listed above.

Further information can be obtained on the DET website -