There have been two new coronavirus outbreaks in Victoria that have been linked to families as the state records 75 new infections in a single day.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos told reporters on Monday they were “obviously concerned” by the increase in the number of cases and the upward trend.
Victoria recorded 49 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the highest daily total in the state since April 2 when 68 cases were detected.
Monday’s number is the highest recorded daily total since March 31, when 96 cases were detected.
Ms Mikakos said one of the new outbreaks contained three new cases and had been linked to a family in Patterson Lakes and Lysterfield, both southeast of Melbourne’s CBD – bringing the total number of the outbreak to four.
The second new outbreak was also linked to a different family in Truganina, in Melbourne’s west, with three new cases recorded. It brings that outbreak to a total of five.
Ms Mikakos said a link had also been established between the North Melbourne family outbreak and the Brimbank family outbreak, with four of the new cases related.
The department is investigating the nature of the link.
Three of the new cases also involve security contractors already in quarantine at the Stamford Plaza, bringing the total of that outbreak to 23.
More than half of the new cases since the end of April have come from family members spreading it to their relatives.
"It is unacceptable that families anywhere in our state can, just because they want this to be over, pretend that it is," Premier Daniel Andrews said earlier this month.
"It is pretty clear that behind closed doors they are not practising social distancing."
The suburban Melbourne council areas of Hume, Brimbank, Casey, Darebin, Moreland and Cardinia have the highest number of new cases since June 1.
Number of cases linked to schools
Ms Mikakos said a number of coronavirus cases have been linked to schools already closed for school holidays. They will be thoroughly cleaned and there will be contact tracing involve both staff and students.
The schools affected include Queen of Peace Parish Primary School, Aitken Hill Primary School, Fitzroy High School, Port Phillip Specialist School and Ultimate Choir College.
“We also have a children centre in Abbotsford that is being closed for cleaning until Wednesday following a positive case and cleaning and contact tracing is underway there as well,” Ms Mikakos said.
“We have a healthcare worker that’s tested positive at The Melbourne Clinic in Richmond and close contacts among both patients and staff will be identified and contacted and the facility will be clean.
“We also have a staff member at the Lifeblood Red Cross processing facility, and there is contact tracing underway and cleaning will be undertaken as well.”
Coronavirus number ‘concerning’
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said the latest jump in coronavirus cases was a “concerning number”.
“I think it will get worse before it gets better,” he said.
“What I would say is that we know what works already. We just need people to do it. So that means runny nose, sore throat, fever – whatever the symptoms are – stay at home, get your test, don’t interact with other people until you have that test result back and you are well.”
Professor Sutton expects to see a similar number in coronavirus cases as more results from a testing blitz came through this week.
“What is encouraging is that we are finding so much that is out there. We have had 50 per cent coverage in some of our hotspot suburbs,” he said.
“That will effectively find and isolate all of the transmission in those places, but we have to bear in mind that there are people still moving about and it only takes one to go to a setting and exposing dozens of people.”
Victoria so far has more new coronavirus cases than any other state or territory in Australia. NSW has recorded just seven new cases, with all new infections among returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
Western Australia was the only other state or territory to record a coronavirus case, with just one infection announced on June 28.
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