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Epidemiologist ‘really disappointed’ with Victoria’s ‘bizarre’ COVID-19 road map

An epidemiologist says she found yesterday’s COVID-19 announcement “very bizarre” and she was “really disappointed” by the plan.

Chair of epidemiology at Deakin University, Professor Catherine Bennett, said she doesn’t think continuing strict Stage 4 restrictions is needed.

“Stage 3 plus masks worked as well as what we’re doing now, from what we can see from the outside,” she told Ross and Russel.

“You don’t need to keep us in Stage 4, you just need to have a really smart path that keeps elimination suppressed but starts to open up, and then you get the best of both worlds: you’ve got people on board, you’ve got good compliance, and that’s how we wrap up the end of this tail.”

Professor Bennett said the state government should be focused on stamping out COVID-19 in aged care and health settings, where most new Victorian cases are occurring.

“We certainly know in the tail that we’ve got particular areas that should be priority areas. That’s what you focus on,” she said.

But she urged Victorians to follow the rules set out by the state government.

“The numbers are the key here not the dates, so I think we just go hard,” Professor Bennett said.

“We may not like this road but the faster we move through it, the better.”

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