On 12 January, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, who had initially come to the attention of the WHO on 31 December 2019.
On 3 March, the Reserve Bank of Australia became the first central bank to cut interest rates in response to the outbreak. Official interest rates were cut by 0.25% (25 base points) to a record low of 0.5%.
On 12 March, the Federal Government announced a A$17.6 billion stimulus package, the first since the 2008 GFC. he package consists of multiple parts, a one-off A$750 payment to around 6.5 million welfare recipients as early as 31 March 2020, small business assistance with 700,000 grants up to $25,000 and a 50% wage subsidy for 120,000 apprenticies or trainees for up to 9 months, 1 billion to support economically impacted sectors, regions and communities, and $700 million to increase tax write off and $3.2 billion to support short-term small and medium-sized business investment.
On 16 March, Premier Dan Andrews and Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos declared a state of emergency for Victoria for at least four weeks.
On 19 March, the Reserve Bank again cut interest rates by a further 0.25% to 0.25%, the lowest in Australian history.
On 22 March, the government announced a second stimulus package of A$66bn, increasing the amount of total financial package offered to A$89bn. This included several new measures like doubling income support for individuals on Jobseeker's allowance, granting A$100,000 to small and medium-sized businesses and A$715 million to Australian airports and airlines. It also allowed individuals affected by the outbreak to access up to A$10,000 of their superannuation during 2019–2020 and also being able to take an additional same amount for the next year. on the same day Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced on 22 March that the state will bring the school holiday forwards to 24 March from 27 March.
On 30 March, the Australian Federal Government announced a $130 billion "JobKeeper" wage subsidy program offering to pay employers up to $1500 a fortnight per full-time, part-time or casual employee that has worked for that business for over a year. For a business to be eligible, they must have lost 30% of turnover after 1 March of annual revenue up to and including $1 billion. For businesses with a revenue of over $1 billion, turnover must have decreased by 50%. Businesses are then required by law to pay the subsidy to their staff, in lieu of their usual wages. This response came after the enormous job losses seen just a week prior when an estimated 1 million Australians lost their jobs. This massive loss in jobs caused the myGov website to crash and lines out of Centrelink offices to run hundreds of metres long.The program was backdated to 1 March, to aim at reemploying the many people who had just lost their jobs in the weeks before. Businesses would receive the JobKeeper subsidy for six months.
Victoria's "Second Wave" from Ballarat Courier, 05 August 2020
Wednesday, August 5: 725 cases, 15 deaths. A record figure reached yet again.
Tuesday, August 4: 439 cases, 11 deaths. New fines introduced for COVID-infected people who aren't home.
Monday, August 3: 429 cases, 13 deaths. Premier details mass industry shutdowns in Melbourne.
Sunday, August 2: 671 cases, seven deaths as harsh new statewide lockdowns are announced
Saturday, August 1: 397 new cases, three deaths
Friday, July 31: 627 new cases, eight deaths. Premier says one in four Covid cases not home when checked.
Thursday July 30: 723 cases, 13 deaths. Just when it was looking promising, alarming new record set.
Wednesday July 29: 295 new cases, nine deaths as new cases drop below 300 for first time in nine days
Tuesday July 28: 380 new cases, six deaths as aged care outbreaks continue to climb
Monday July 27: 532 new cases as daily cases hits 500 for first time, six deaths
Sunday July 26: 459 new cases as double-digit death toll is recorded for first time with 10 deaths
Saturday July 25: 357 new cases, five new deaths
Friday July 24: 300 cases, six deaths, ADF role expanded to help with contact tracing.
Thursday July 23 - 403 cases, five deaths, worst day for fatalities in any state, masks now mandatory
Wednesday July 22 - 484 cases, two deaths
Tuesday July 21 - 374 cases, three deaths
Monday July 20 - 275 cases, one death
Sunday July 19 - 363 cases, three deaths, notice that masks will become mandatory in lockdown areas
Saturday July 18 - 217 cases, three deaths, final Melbourne public housing tower released from hard lockdown
Friday July 17 - 428 cases, three deaths
Thursday July 16 - 317 cases, two deaths
Wednesday July 15 - 238 cases, one death
Tuesday July 14 - 270 cases, two deaths
Monday July 13 - 177 cases
Sunday July 12 - 273 cases, one death
Saturday July 11 - 216 cases, one death
Friday July 10 - 288 cases, a national daily record at the time
Thursday July 9 - 165 cases, eight of nine Melbourne public housing towers released from hard lockdown
Wednesday July 8 - 134 cases, new stage-three restrictions announced for metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire
Tuesday July 7 - 191 cases
Monday July 6 - 127 cases, two deaths, NSW border closed
Sunday July 5 - 74 cases
Saturday July 4 - 108 cases, immediate hard lockdown of nine Melbourne public housing towers
Friday July 3 - 66 cases
Thursday July 2 - 77 cases
Wednesday July 1 - 73 cases
Colour photographs of social distancing signs during the Covid-19 Pandemic, on Chemist Warehouse in Sebastopol. On 06 April 2020 a maximum of 75 people were allowed in the chemist at one time, and those with syptoms of Covid-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) were asked to not enter without phone contact. Upon entering customers were directed to use hand sanitizer, and 1.5 metre markings were placed on the floor to enable legal social distancing.