Update: Victoria has recorded another six local COVID-19 cases, bringing the cluster in Melbourne’s north to 15.
Acting Premier James Merlino said health authorities reported 10 new local cases in the past 24 hours to midnight and revealed they had been notified of one new case this morning which will be included in tomorrow’s numbers.
The new cases announced are all part of the Whittlesea cluster.
Merlino said all the new cases were close contacts of the cases that have already been identified.
“Everyone is linked at this stage, but we are concerned about the number and the kind of exposure sites,” he told reporters this morning.
Merlino warned he could not rule out further restrictions in response to the outbreak.
There are now 23 active cases of COVID-19 across Victoria.
Victorian health authorities reported one new locally acquired case of coronavirus and have reintroduced restrictions for Melbourne.
A man aged in his 60s returned a positive result this morning adding to the four cases reported yesterday. Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, says he is concerned the man may have been infectious since at least May 17.
New restrictions, announced today, come into force for Greater Melbourne from 6:00pm AEST. The restrictions include gatherings of no more than five people in a private home, public gatherings limited to 30, and face masks indoors for those aged 12 years and older.
These restrictions will be in place until at least June 4.
Acting Premier James Merlino said to reporters earlier today that the newest case was a close contact of the first person in the cluster identified earlier this week.
Merlino said the new restrictions were based on public health advice.
“This is about giving our contact tracers the time they need to track this matter down and get on top of it,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Tuesday.
|Face Masks: Compulsory indoors at all times for anyone aged 12 years and older|
|Gatherings: Private home gatherings will be limited to 5 people per day, public gatherings will be limited to 30 people.|
|Schools/ Workplaces: These will remain open|
|Travel: Anyone from Greater Melbourne can travel to regional Victoria, but the Melbourne restrictions will apply during the travels|
The Victorian Government is also seeking advice as to whether there will be any changes to capacity for weddings and sporting and cultural events.
Three family members of the man in his 30s spread across two households in the Whittlesea local government area, tested positive on Monday.
Media statement: two likely positive cases of COVID-19 in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) May 24, 2021
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, said on Monday the first case was “likely quite infectious”, adding residents have to ready themselves. The infectious man raises concerns because he was infectious out in the community for three days before showing symptoms.
“The viral load was high and with close contacts becoming positive, he is likely to be quite infectious,” Sutton told reporters.
“We have to ready ourselves for any other [COVID] positives and when there are close contacts who do become positive, that raises the possibility that even a casual contact could become positive as well.”
Victorian health authorities have now also identified more exposure sites in Melbourne, which can be found on the state’s government’s website.
New exposure sites linked to community cases of COVID-19 have been published.
See the full list here: https://t.co/SQ5trZH2NI
The sites are located in Epping, Reservoir and Brunswick, as well as Bundoora and Maribyrnong (Highpoint Shopping Centre) from earlier today. pic.twitter.com/XdrIUMUocP
— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) May 24, 2021
Health Minister Martin Foley said authorities expect the list of exposure sites to grow in the coming days.
Professor Sutton urged people on Monday to get vaccinated against the virus and said failure to do so would likely result in more outbreaks.
Nearly 15,000 test results were received in the past 24 hours, according to the Department of Health.
Prior to this outbreak, Victoria had gone 86 days without any cases of COVID-19 in the community.