NINE out of 10 people who test positive to COVID-19 are not self-isolating between the onset of symptoms and getting a test, alarming new data reveals.
It has prompted the state government to extend the coronavirus worker support payment to make sure people don't have to choose between going to work and having no income.
Department of Health and Human Services data also found 53 per cent of positive cases did not isolate between being tested and receiving their results.
"We know too many Victorians are in insecure work, don't have sick leave entitlements and can't afford to miss a shift," Premier Daniel Andrews said.
"That's why our current worker support payment recognises that the requirement to self-isolate or quarantine can leave workers and their families struggling to make ends meet, forgoing an income while they're following health advice."
Under the scheme, a one-off payment of $1500 is available to workers who are unable to work during their isolation, have no income during this period, and are not entitled to any paid sick leave, special pandemic leave or other income support.
The government will now extend the scheme to ensure that as soon as a person is tested, they will be eligible for a $300 support payment from the Victorian Government — as long as they meet the eligibility of the existing scheme.
"This will ensure workers don't have to pay the price for following health advice while they are waiting for their results — meaning they can afford to isolate immediately and avoid spreading the virus further through workplaces," Mr Andrews said.
"Victoria has one of the highest testing rates in the world and we're making it easier than ever to get tested for coronavirus with new testing sites being established every week right across the state.
"There are currently more than 160 places you can get tested at across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria — including health services, GPs, drive-through and mobile pop-up sites.
"To fight this virus, we need every Victorian who is sick to get tested and then stay home. If you are waiting for a test, you must stay home until you are notified of your result," Mr Andrews said.
"We know that having to isolate can mean missing work — and no-one should be making the choice between their health and putting food on the table – that's why we're making sure those who need our support can get it."