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Vic records 17 more deaths, 208 new cases

Sunday, August 23rd, 2020 10:00am

There have been 17 more COVID-19 deaths in Victoria and 208 new cases. The national death toll is now 502 while state fatalities have reached 415.

The were figures released on Sunday after the Melbourne set of The Masked Singer was shut down because several crew members tested positive for the coronavirus.

“The entire production team, including the masked singers, the host and panellists are now in self-isolation,” the Network Ten program posted on Twitter late on Saturday night.

“They are all being monitored closely and are in constant contact with medical authorities.”

The reality show hosted by Osher Gunsberg involves masked celebrities competing against each other in a singing competition.

The panellists include Dannii Minogue and comedian Dave Hughes.

Meanwhile, Melburnians have been told they will be wearing face masks in public beyond the easing of strict lockdowns rules in Victoria.

Victoria’s chief health officer says people must expect to continue wearing protective masks long after stage four restrictions ease in metropolitan Melbourne.

The state on Saturday recorded a second consecutive day of fresh coronavirus cases below 200, prompting Professor Brett Sutton to predict numbers could dip below 150 next week.

He said restrictions would not be lifted in full until community transmission was eradicated.

Premier Daniel Andrews, who has long talked of Victorians needing to adjust to a new “COVID normal”, said masks would remain part of life for a long time, along with careful hand-washing and physical distancing.

Melbourne residents still have about another three weeks of stage four restrictions, including an overnight curfew, ahead of them before they are revised on September 13.

Regional Victorians are under slightly less onerous level three restrictions for the same period.

Hearings for state’s inquiry into the failed hotel quarantine program resume on Monday with more testimony from hotel security staff.

The inquiry last week heard poor-performing security guards were moved between the quarantine hotels, while returned travellers feared catching the coronavirus during their stay.

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