Burnet modelling informs Victoria’s COVID roadmap

Burnet Institute COVASIM modelling warning of the risks of opening up too quickly has helped to inform the latest reshaping of COVID-19 restrictions by the Victorian Government.

Burnet researchers led by Dr Nick Scott modelled what would happen on September 28 if Victoria eased to the final step on the Roadmap to COVID Normal with restrictions similar to those in place in Victoria in early June.

More specifically, the study sought to examine the impact of timing, to examine the relationship between the degree of containment prior to relaxation and resurgence risk.

The Burnet team found that opening too quickly would result in a 41 percent chance of a third wave of COVID-19 infections within four weeks.

“What the modelling shows is that if we open things up when we have fewer cases, the risk is significantly reduced,” Dr Scott said. “That’s just common sense, really.”

“Reopening too soon risks wasting all the sacrifices Victorians have made of the past few months.”

Initiatives announced by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday include tougher rules on face masks, the scrapping of Melbourne’s night curfew, and a return to face-to-face learning for primary schools.

“We believe we will be able to take that important next step, which is when all the restrictions leaving your home when there is much more freedom of movement … on the 19th of October,” Mr Andrews said.

The Government also announced that trigger points, rather than set dates – a key Burnet recommendation – would define the next steps out of lockdown.

“The modelling supports a staged approach and the use of epidemiological indicators rather than fixating on dates because the virus doesn’t care about dates,” Dr Scott said.

“We should be basing when we ease restrictions on the state of the epidemic.”

COVASIM is a unique individual-based VOVID-19 model developed by Burnet Institute and the Institute for Disease Modelling in the USA that can assess the impact and risk associated with relaxing various physical distancing policies on the resurgence of COVID-19.

Click here to review the latest Burnet COVASIM resurgence analysis.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.