By Ewen McRae
Melton has passed a significant milestone in the fight against COVID-19, with less than 100 cases of the virus now active in the municipality.
There were 94 active cases in the Melton council region on September 13, the first time that less than 100 cases were active since July 16.
Moorabool currently has just four active cases, and just 40 cases in total since the pandemic began.
The news comes as the latest stage of restrictions came into effect on September 14.
While most conditions remain unchanged for Melton, residents can now leave their homes for exercise for up to two hours each day, while the nightly curfew now starts at 9pm.
Residents living alone can now also nominate another person to visit their home under the revised restrictions.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the 14-day average for daily new cases, a key measure for the lifting of the stage four lockdown, now sat at 56.9. The regional average is 4.1.
Professor Sutton said he was confident that the 14-day average would be within the band of 30 to 50 new cases by September 28, to meet the threshold for the second step of easing restrictions under the government’s roadmap to reopening.
That step will allow public gatherings to be increased to five people from a maximum of two households and the return to school for prep to grade 2, VCE/VCAL and specialist schools in term four.
“If you look at today’s number and they fluctuate a little bit every day, but we are looking at the 40 [new case] mark now, so if you project forward 14 days you would expect that that 14-day rolling average to the end of September will be absolutely no more than 40 and more likely to be within 20 and 30 I would hope,” Professor Sutton said.