Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

Australia's Victoria state records slight rise in COVID-19 cases

Melburnians anxiously await a decision on the city's lockdown. Source AAP Melburnians anxiously await a decision on the city's lockdown. Source AAP
Cary Erickson | 12 June, 2021, 14:04

Melbourne emerged from two weeks of lockdown on Friday, following a climb in local cases since late May.

The state's deputy chief health officer, Professor Allen Cheng, said, "while it's the judgement of the public health team that we are in a position to ease restrictions, these new cases are really the strongest reminder that we are, by no means, out of the woods yet".

Victorian contact tracers are working to pinpoint the source of the infection, with investigations revealing one of the cases checked in near the Craigieburn Central shopping centre on May 23.

The single new locally acquired case of COVID-19 in Victoria was found in a man who got tested as soon as he felt symptomatic.

The group travelled from Australia to New Zealand via Sydney and failed to declare they had initially come from Melbourne, Victoria.

Victorian authorities are concerned testing numbers are dropping.

"My personal view is that there is certainly more cases out there".

A Queensland Health statement at the time said: "Anyone who has been in Victoria in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter Queensland unless they are a returning Queensland resident, except for a limited range of people who can enter for an essential objective".

For now though, it remains a "mystery case", testing commander Jeroen Weimar said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Queensland health officials have confirmed a couple tested positive for the virus after breaching Victoria lockdown rules and travelling from Melbourne, through New South Wales and into Queensland.

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Victoria's Health Minister Martin Foley said the new case lives in the city of Melbourne and he praised the case for doing "all the right things".

Dr Young said three close contacts had already tested negative, including relatives they were staying with in Caloundra.

Victoria recorded on new case of Covid-19 on Saturday.

"I'd ask people to check those new tier 2 exposure sites, and it goes back to the conversation from earlier, we believe there are other branches (of the virus) that may be out there that we have not yet discovered", he said.

Just over 15,000 test results were received in the 24 hours to Friday and 20,660 vaccine doses were delivered.

The list of exposure sites continues to grow, with more venues added and updated overnight.

The health department is urging anyone in those areas with COVID symptoms to get tested immediately.

The cases in the greater Melbourne outbreak are genomically linked to cases arriving from overseas, but at least three cases are unclear in how they caught the virus.

Western Australia reclassified Victoria as a "low risk" state from 6pm Friday, but Victorians making the trip will still need to isolate for 14 days.