A cluster of nearly three dozen coronavirus cases worrying Victorian authorities centres around five households where some family members breached restrictions.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Jeroen Weimar told reporters on Friday several members of five households had visited each other, breaching the 5km radius and household visiting rules.
“There are five households across Hallam, Clyde, Narre Warren South and Cranbourne North and across those five households, we currently have 34 positive cases,” Mr Weimar said.
They make up more than a third of the roughly 90 active cases for the Casey Local Government Area.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said there were some essential workers among the group, however they had not been to those workplaces.
He said there was a “range of people, both young and old, involved”.
There has been more than 4000 tests performed in the area in the last week with Professor Cheng calling on people in the area to come forward to get tested.
He stressed it was an “ongoing outbreak”.
“We clearly need to make sure that we get a ring around these cases to stop onward transmission,” Prof Cheng said.
Anyone who has been in the area of Fountain Gate shopping centre in Narre Warren is urged to watch out for symptoms after multiple visits to the complex by those in the cluster.
Premier angered over outbreak
Premier Daniel Andrews said the development was “disappointing”.
“The rules are there for a reason and if they are not followed, then it makes the job that we are all doing that much harder.”
Mr Andrews warned such rule breaches will only extend the current lockdown.
“Hopefully, this is a really, really strong reminder, nobody gets passed from this, everybody has to follow the rules. You have to do it because if you don't, you will be spreading it,” he said.
He said there was no known link between the cluster and recent anti-lockdown protests in Dandenong.
In response to suggestion from community leaders they’ve become scapegoats for the cluster, Mr Andrews said the virus does not discriminate.
“Whether you’re of a particular faith or no faith, whether you're born here all your parents were not born here or whatever part of the world you came from, what language you speak, much money you are in, what postcode you are in, your age, gender... none of this matters.”
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