Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) has revealed one in four people infected with COVID-19 are not at home when health authorities come doorknocking.
This disturbing figure was announced alongside the news Victoria crossed the 10,000 cumulative cases mark today with 627 new infections of COVID-19.
Andrews says the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has been ramping up doorknocking efforts over the course of this week and completed more than 500 home visits to positive COVID-19 cases yesterday.
Of those 500 visits more than 130 people were not found at home when the ADF came knocking, meaning one in four are not at home when they should be.
More than 100 of these people have been referred to the Victorian police for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.
"It is simply unacceptable for you to have this virus and not be at home," says Andrews.
"There may be a handful that are out and getting some fresh air; that does not explain these numbers. These numbers go well and truly beyond anything like that and all that will do is spread the virus."
In addition to the 627 new infections of COVID-19 reported today there have been eight more deaths, four of which are from aged care settings.
There are currently 349 people in hospital and 39 in intensive care.
Andrews says because of the high numbers of new cases, including yesterday's record number of new infections, the state and Federal governments are assessing the data to figure out a path forward.
It comes as Victoria crossed the half-way mark of a six-week Stage 3 lockdown imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 on Wednesday.
"It is clear to all of us that these numbers are still far too high," says Andrews.
"We will spend the next day or so looking through in fine detail, analysing the data, looking for trends, looking to have a really clear sense of exactly what is presenting and exactly what the nature of our challenge is.
"We could not open up with these numbers. Even with significantly less and less numbers. So it may well be the case, and the data may well bear this out and the best advice may well come to me that we need to take further steps; that the steps we've taken are not enough to pull this up."
Victorian Businesses access support grants
The Premier also provided an update on the state's grants to businesses, revealing 12,600 companies had accessed the $5,000 emergency support grant.
Further, 215 tourism businesses have accessed an industry-specific grant designed to soften the blow from the second round of Melbourne lockdowns.
Of the original $10,000 grant Andrews says 77,600 businesses have been paid to date, but applications for those funds are still open so the number is expected grow.
"We're making good progress on those - obviously we'll continue to process those applications," says Andrews.
"My team is working very hard to make sure that those payments are made on time."
As for the $300 emergency payment to individuals in financial distress due to COVID-19 testing restrictions Andrews says 5,200 people have applied.
Thus far 4,200 have been paid out, equating to around $1.26 million in payments to date.
Updated at 11:34am AEST on 31 July 2020.
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support