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Victorian coronavirus death toll climbs to 13

The latest figures were released as the state government announced packages to help vulnerable people isolate if they are diagnosed or exposed to the virus.

Prevention of Family Violence Minister Gabrielle Williams announced a $40.2 million package to support women and children.

Of that total figure, $20 million will be put toward short-term housing for survivors needing somewhere safe to isolate or recover. Ms Williams said the accommodation would be similar to quarantine hotels for returned travellers and healthcare workers.

The funding will go to support services, with domestic violence expected to worsen during the pandemic as families remain housebound. There has not yet been a spike in domestic violence, but it is expected to come.

“We know that that’s been borne out overseas and we’ve got no reason to expect any different, sadly,” Ms Williams said.

There was a drop in calls for help at the beginning of the coronavirus restrictions. Experts believe that may be because survivors have less opportunity to call for help while everyone is at home.

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The funding includes almost $5 million for new technology and protective equipment for up to 120 family violence and sexual assault organisations, and funding for Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.

Housing Minister Richard Wynne also announced an $8.8 million homelessness package to establish four pop-up housing sites around Melbourne using repurposed aged-care homes.

The accommodation can house up to 200 homeless people who are diagnosed or suspected to have coronavirus.

“We know they can’t self isolate and they can’t quarantine themselves,” Mr Wynne said.

St Vincent’s Hospital staff will provide 24/7 healthcare at the facilities, which will be funded for six months.

So far, 926 people have recovered from coronavirus, including 120 over the last 24 hours.

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There have been 116 cases of community transmission, with no known contact with a confirmed case or overseas travel, six more than a day ago.

Victorians have been tested 62,000 times, with testing criteria widened this week for frontline workers and vulnerable people.

Staff at seven hospitals and one radiology unit have been diagnosed, with 157 healthcare workers testing positive in the state so far.

For assistance call Safe Steps on 1800 015 188 or the national domestic violence helpline 1800 RESPECT. In case of emergency call 000.

Call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 if you have symptoms.

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