Schools could open in weeks, if case numbers keep dropping: Sutton

Victoria may not have to go into stage four lockdown, and schools could reopen in weeks if case numbers continue to drop, says the state's Chief Health Officer.

Dr Brett Sutton said on Thursday morning that stage 4 restrictions, which have been canvassed as an option by Premier Daniel Andrews, may not be necessary.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton at a previous press conference with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.Credit: Simon Schluter

"I remain optimistic that we don't have to go there," he told radio station 3AW.

The latest coronavirus figures have not yet been released due to a system delay, he said, but will be released later today.

Dr Sutton said schools could reopen in weeks if we continue to see case numbers drop.

"I don't rule anything in or out. We are always reviewing, we have a state of emergency until May 11, that's a natural point to have a really robust review, but who knows what the next couple of weeks will bring," he said.

"If we have driven numbers down to zero, you know, that's got to be on the cards but it does involve everyone doing the right thing."

He said while evidence showed that kids were not hit hard by the virus, schools could increase community transmission.

"As a physical distancing measure, it's one of the contributions to all the things we do to try and create bigger distance between people, that's why so many people around the world have closed schools with that in mind," he said.

He said he had spoken to Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy, who supports the mixed model being applied in Victorian schools.

"The feds have always said if there is local epidemiology you need to consider, then every state and territory should," he said.

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