There is also searchable database with this information in a table at the bottom of this article.
Victoria’s virus clusters
As of Wednesday there had been 137 outbreaks and 2453 cases since the start of June.
The Department of Health and Human Services has not released data on all outbreaks. The Age has requested additional information.
The map – which will be updated if more data does become available – includes only large clusters where there has been an increase in cases over the past week. Most of the outbreaks are tied to aged care homes or workplaces.
The total case numbers for some of these clusters is not updated daily, so the date of the most recent figure has been specified. Keep in mind too that the information on clusters shows the total number of confirmed cases, not the number of active cases.
The state’s largest current clusters include an outbreak at Bertocchi Smallgoods in Thomastown (202 confirmed cases), Epping Gardens Aged Care in Epping (201), St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner (184) and Estia Aged Care in Ardeer (153).
While the data on postcodes tells us how many residents of that area have tested positive for COVID-19, the totals for the clusters tell us how many cases there were across multiple postcodes.
For example, there is an outbreak at Diamond Valley Pork in Laverton North that has been tied to 29 coronavirus cases, but Laverton North is a largely industrial area and so those infected would likely live in nearby residential postcodes.
The postcodes with the most coronavirus cases
The postcode with the most active cases is 3029 (which includes the suburbs of Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit and Truganina), with 463 active cases. It has had the highest number of active cases of anywhere in Victoria for at least a fortnight, recording a net increase of four active cases since last Thursday.
There are 222 active cases where the postcode of residence is not yet known and 15 among people who typically live overseas or interstate. If these formed their own postcode, it would have the fifth-highest number of active cases.
But the total number of cases in an area doesn’t tell the full story. Some of the postcodes with the most cases are also some of the state’s most populated postcodes, so what the map reflects in some ways is Victoria’s population distribution.
The postcode with the highest rate of active cases is Plenty, in Melbourne’s north, with an active case rate of 15 cases per 1000 residents. This is likely in part because the area is home to the Aurrum Aged Care facility, the centre of an outbreak connected with 79 coronavirus cases.
On the map you can choose to show either the number of active cases in each postcode or the rate of active cases per 1000 residents.
Active coronavirus case numbers have dropped in Victoria
Active coronavirus case numbers in Victoria have fallen for two days in a row, but Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said on Thursday that it was still too early to gauge whether this was the start of a trend.
“A swallow doesn’t make a summer,” he said. “We look at cases as a trend over time… we need to keep a close eye on [case numbers] over time.”
On Thursday there were 7866 active coronavirus cases in Victoria, down from 7877 on Wednesday and a peak of 7880 on Tuesday.
It’s the first time since June 14 that active case numbers have dropped in Victoria, and means that over the past two days the number of new people testing positive for COVID-19 was outweighed by the number of new people who have either recovered from the virus or who have passed away.
It will take more time before clear trends emerge from the postcode data about whether active coronavirus case numbers are declining in certain areas. This is because the data compares active case numbers from last Thursday (when there were 7227 active cases in Victoria) with this Thursday (7866 active cases), so this week’s map shows more active cases than last week’s one.
On a week-to-week basis the biggest increases in cases were in the north and west of Melbourne in postcodes 3021, 3429 and 3020 incorporating the suburbs of St Albans, Sunbury and Sunshine respectively. There were also significant jumps in Northcote (up 26 to a total of 59) and Yarraville (Up from 26 to 50).
The longest-run data on how active case numbers is for local government areas (larger administrative boundaries that include multiple postcodes), which goes back to the start of June.
Active case numbers might appear to be levelling off or even be on the way down in an area but it may still be too early to say if that will last. For example there are 208 active cases that are not yet assigned to a local government area.
When the number of daily new cases far outweighed recoveries that slight time lag didn’t influence the active case numbers. Now the gap is narrowing where those cases end up being recorded can mean the difference between active case numbers for an area going up, remaining stable or dropping.
If you have any questions about the data, please leave a comment on this article or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I will do my best to respond.
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Craig Butt joined The Age in 2011 and specialises in data-driven journalism.
Mark Stehle is the design director for multimedia at The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Brisbane Times and WAtoday.
Richard Lama is an Interactive Developer at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.