Coronavirus update 3pm, Friday, March 27.

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THE total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria has reached 574 – an increase of 54 from yesterday – and includes the first confirmed case in the Mansfield Shire.

Victoria has recorded three deaths related to COVID-19, but there were no new deaths recorded overnight.

The total number of cases includes 332 men and 241 women, with people aged from eight to 88.

There are 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria that may have been acquired through community transmission.

Currently 22 people are in hospital, including three patients in intensive care.

Some 172 people have recovered.

More than 27,800 Victorians have been tested to date.

Of the total 574 cases, there have been 475 in metropolitan Melbourne and 85 in regional Victoria – including one in Mansfield Shire and three in Moira Shire.

A number of cases remain under investigation.

Details can be found on the DHHS website at: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/media-hub-coronavirus-disease-covid-19

The Department of Health and Human Services follows up and monitors all close contacts of confirmed cases and provides them with information and support. All close contacts must self-isolate for 14 days.

All people arriving from any international destination must also self-isolate for 14 days as per Commonwealth Government direction.

While most Victorians are voluntarily complying with requests to isolate, police have strong powers to enforce the direction if it’s required.

Under the State of Emergency people who don’t comply with a directive could receive a fine of up to $20,00, and companies face fines of up to $100,000.

Victoria’s chief health officer, Professor Brett Sutton, has urged everyone to take social distancing seriously.

“Everyone who’s unwell must isolate themselves and everyone who’s been told they’re in quarantine either as a returned traveller or close contact must do so,” Professor Sutton said.

“Social distancing will save lives.

“Everyone needs to comply with restrictions in place to keep yourself, your loved ones and the whole community safe.

“We urge everyone to stay 1.5 metres away from everyone else, wash your hands often with soap and water and cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.”

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has a hotline for public information on COVID-19 which is 1800 675 398.

Large numbers of calls will result in some delays and we ask Victorians for their patience as we work to manage the volume. Further information is also available at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

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We have provided this coronavirus article without the requirement to subscribe to the digital edition. This is a rapidly changing situation and we want to make sure our readers are as informed as possible. If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.

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