Victoria has recorded 55 new coronavirus cases and eight deaths in the last 24 hours.
Tuesday’s new case numbers mark a slight increase on Monday, when 41 cases and nine deaths were recorded in the lowest daily tally in more than two months.
Victoria is now ramping up its much-criticised contact tracing, sending officials to NSW and establishing five response teams for suburban Melbourne.
Mr Andrews announced on Tuesday that a group of officials would visit NSW to learn more about their contact tracing system.
“Always sharing information, that has been going on since March, but double-checking and triple-checking to see if there is any further improvements, I think that is a very important process,” he said.
Mr Andrews said the five suburban response teams would help drive down new case numbers.
“We will make sure that we have got those local teams, who I think come in their own when there is very low numbers. But the tolerance for coping (with) those numbers low is also very, very small,” he said.
On Monday, Mr Andrews defended Victoria’s roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions in the face of fierce criticism, saying the state government’s measures are having “considerable success”.
Melburnians face an extra two weeks in Stage 4 lockdown under the roadmap revealed on Sunday, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison labelling it “crushing news” and saying he hopes the plan is a “worst-case scenario”.
“What I can’t help but be struck by is that, under the thresholds that have been set in that plan, Sydney would be under curfew now,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Monday.
But the Victorian premier said he didn’t think that a valid or worthwhile comparison, given Sydney had not had the level of community transmission they’d seen in Victoria.
“We have got a set of unique circumstances that apply to Victoria and a road map to safely and steadily ease out of these current rules, these current restrictions, to find a COVID-normal, to open up and to stay open,” Mr Andrews told ABC’s 7.30 program on Monday.
He said the state had gone from 725 to 41 cases in about a month, meaning the government’s strategy was working.
“But if you open up too much, too early, you don’t stay open for long … and that’s not what we want.”
As the Victorian roadmap continues to attract fierce criticism, especially from business, testing numbers are causing concern.
They were down to 8704, the first time it has been under 10,000 since 23 June.
While the premier acknowledged there would be fewer tests because the cold and flu season was ending, he urged anyone with symptoms to be checked.
“If you even have mild symptoms, the chances of you having this coronavirus are that much higher,” he said.
Some of Victoria’s roadmap timetable also could be fast-tracked if the statistics allow it, according to state Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.
While he said there will be no change to the initial 28 September deadline, there could be flexibility around easing restrictions around the 26 October and 23 November dates on the roadmap timetable.
Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 8pm and 5am. During the curfew, people in Melbourne can only leave their house for work, and essential health, care or safety reasons.
Between 5am and 8pm, people in Melbourne can leave the home for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative. The full list of restrictions can be found here.
All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live.
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.
If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.