A Melbourne nurse has pleaded with people to stay home and wear a mask after catching the virus while working on a Covid-19 ward.
Natalie Linton was diagnosed with coronavirus 16 days ago, telling 7 News: "I have never felt so sick in all my life."
Linton is one of almost 1000 active coronavirus health worker cases. Since being diagnosed, her partner has also tested positive for Covid-19.
"Watching my worst fears come true when my partner tested positive 11 days after me was the worst thing that I have ever had to see," she said.
Prior to her diagnosis, Linton had been working at Epping's Northern Hospital where she had witnessed first-hand how serious coronavirus can be.
"I've watched people die from Covid-19 having no family around them. It's hard," she said.
"You're in a room holding someone you don't even know. I have no words."
Linton wanted people to know "coronavirus is real" and to stay at home, wear a mask and follow social distancing.
Melbourne is in a stage 4 lockdown, with the city under a night curfew and facemasks mandatory in public places.
Today the state recorded 322 new cases and 19 deaths, making it the deadliest day of coronavirus in Australia on record.
Nurses working on Victoria's coronavirus frontline have pleaded with Victorians to stay home and wear their masks, saying the light face coverings are nothing compared to the heavy duty masks health workers must wear.
Multiple nurses working across Melbourne's emergency and intensive care units told the ABC last week they are suffering from bruising and pressure injuries as a result of wearing face masks and shields for hours on end.
Despite the discomfort, nurses must wear the masks and other PPE the whole time they are on duty because of highly infectious nature of the virus.
They can't even remove the masks to take a sip of water, with Royal Melbourne emergency department nurse Mel Pearson telling 7.30 they are dehydrated as a result.
It's a lot harder to just go pee if we want to," she said. "We have pressure injuries on our forehead and bruising on our chins and our noses.
"Seeing people in the community complain about their masks that they have to wear for half an hour to go to the shops is a little bit disheartening when our masks actually cause us physical injuries, just to keep us and our patients safe."
ICU nurse unit manager Sam Bates works at Western Health's Footscray and Sunshine Hospitals and said she was sick of hearing anti-maskers complaining about the rules.
"I don't care how uncomfortable you think your face mask is. I don't care if you think this is a conspiracy theory or some made-up hoax. I can tell you it's very real," she told the ABC.
"I'm wearing one all day. I don't want to wear one all day. So please, if you have to wear one when you go out in public, just for half an hour or an hour, please do so. Every little bit helps."