Victoria records 25 coronavirus deaths in Australia's deadliest day so far

<span>Photograph: James Ross/AAP</span>
Photograph: James Ross/AAP

Victoria has recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic so far, with 25 deaths recorded overnight, meaning that more than 300 people have died since the second wave began in Melbourne in June. A further 282 cases were reported on Monday.

The premier, Daniel Andrews, has continued to face questions about outbreaks among healthcare workers and at aged care homes, with 1,064 active cases among healthcare workers across the state and 2,009 active cases in 119 outbreaks at aged care homes.

On Monday a number of wards were closed at Frankston hospital due to an “increased number of Covid-19 positive cases”. Guardian Australia understands a number of staff working on Covid-positive wards were furloughed to undergo mandatory self-isolation periods.

“We are currently working through a plan to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff and patients, including closing a number of wards to admissions and undertaking thorough contact tracing with patients, family members and staff to alert anyone who has potentially been exposed to the virus,” Peninsula Health chief executive Felicity Topp said.

“Due to patient confidentiality, and to protect the privacy of our staff, we are unable to provide any further details at this time.”

Topp said the hospital was working with the Department of Health and Human Services and infection control experts to “ascertain the root cause” of the outbreak.

Andrews said he would release information this week detailing where healthcare workers had contracted the virus.

More than two-thirds of the people who have died in the Victorian outbreak to date were connected to aged care homes. Of the 25 people reported dead on Monday, 22 were linked to aged care outbreaks.

Related: Victorian aged care leak shows Melbourne home 'begging' for staff after coronavirus outbreak

Andrews said he expected Victoria would continue to see a significant number of deaths reported each day until the number of people admitted to hospital in a serious condition declined.

“For so long as we have large numbers of people in hospital who are gravely ill, then we will continue to see people who will die from this,” the premier said.

While the majority of people who have died in Victoria after contracting the virus were elderly, he said “here are otherwise healthy people who are younger who have died” – including two people in their 30s.

There are now 657 people in hospital in Victoria with Covid-19, of whom 44 are in intensive care and 32 are on ventilators. Until those numbers declined, Andrews said, “we will see further tragedy”.

He would continue to front the daily press conference until the statewide outbreak was contained, and dismissed a suggestion that he had given 45 press conferences in a row because he did not trust his deputy or other colleagues to step in.

“I won’t ask people to work harder than I do,” he said. “I never have, and I never will, and I will be here until this is done.”

Victoria’s daily case numbers have been trending down since they peaked on 5 August, when 725 cases were recorded.

Related: Source of 1,600 Victorian healthcare workers' Covid-19 infections still unknown despite premier's claims

There are 87 Covid-19 cases in disability settings, all of which are national disability insurance scheme providers. Andrews said he was considering moving outbreaks in residential disability services to the same hub model now used to manage aged care outbreaks, because they are also split between state and federal management.

Media attention has focused on an outbreak at Hambleton House, a supported residential service facility in Albert Park, one of Melbourne’s more affluent suburbs. Twenty-two people have been transferred out of that home to other facilities, and neighbours have reportedly made complaints that other residents from the home were seen doing their shopping.

Andrews said not everyone at the home had tested positive to Covid-19 – so they were allowed to shop – and the outbreak was the subject of “considerable attention” from public health teams.

The number of active cases in regional areas was “down considerably”, Andrews said, with just 436 active cases, a third of which are in the Geelong region. He again urged anyone with flu-like symptoms to get tested for Covid-19.

“Given we have so many fewer flu cases in Victoria today, because of social distancing, physical distancing, if you have symptoms, no matter how mild, there is every chance that you have got this,” he said.