Covid cluster emerges in Melbourne, four new cases

·3-min read

Victoria's Minister for Health Martin Foley has confirmed four new Covid-19 cases have emerged in Melbourne's north.

Mr Foley confirmed 'case one' came forward for testing on May 23, after experiencing symptoms since May 20, joined with another male relative who was asymptomatic and both tested positive.

Two more cases have been confirmed since this morning — a woman and a child.

All four cases are part of the same family, who lived in different houses, Mr Foley said, adding the family is from Whittlesea, northeast from Melbourne's CBD.

Four new Covid-19 cases have been identified in Victoria. Source: AAP
Four new Covid-19 cases have been identified in Victoria. Source: AAP

New Covid exposure sites in Victoria

In light of the new cases, two exposure sites have been identified — a swimming pool and a shopping centre, which are both considered to be 'Tier One'.

For people who have visited Tier One locations at the specified dates times, they must immediately isolate, get a COVID test, and remain isolated for 14 days.

  • Jump Swim School in Bundoora on May 21 between the hours of 8:55am and 10:15am — Tier One

  • Highpoint shopping centre on May 20 between 5:00pm and 8:00pm — Tier One

Contact tracers are conducting interviews with the confirmed cases and more exposure sites are expected to be listed on the Department of Health's website.

Earlier this month an infection was detected in Wollert in Melbourne's north, putting the city on high alert. However there were no subsequent cases detected in the following days.

Genomic sequencing is still underway, however contact tracers are investigating a potential link between the new cases and one identified earlier this month, with links to a quarantine hotel.

"Given the proximity of the gentleman from early May who return from hotel quarantine in Adelaide who lives in that city, we do not rule out the prospect that there is a link," Mr Foley said. 

"The dates do not line up immediately so we cannot rule out if there is a missing link out there."

Foley confirmed the first case announced today became infectious on May 18, while the traveller from South Australia was "well and truly in hotel quarantine in Victoria".

"They do not cross over in that period in terms of incubation and they do not appear to crossover," he said.

CHO warns against complacency

Speaking at the press conference the Chief Health Officer (CHO), Brett Sutton said Australia will "always be at risk" until most of the population is vaccinated.

He also stressed as we head into winter, people are more likely to spend more time indoors and within close proximity to one another.

"We just need to remind ourselves that the risk is going to be there and ongoing," he said.

The transmission potential will be greater now than it was when we spent more time outdoors when we had, you know, more embedded behaviours where we distanced better, where we wore a mask more often.

"So all those behaviours are useful to remind ourselves to try and get down again, especially for this next couple of weeks ahead of us."

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said people need to be sure they are practising social distancing as we head into winter. Source: AAP Image
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said people need to be sure they are practising social distancing as we head into winter. Source: AAP Image

State's exposure site bungle

The four new cases come after the department admitted it had listed the wrong supermarket as an exposure site during an outbreak earlier this month.

People had been warned of potential exposure at Woolworths in Epping a fortnight ago, after a Victorian man contracted coronavirus in hotel quarantine in South Australia.

But the department on Friday said the man had shopped at Woolworths in Epping North, four kilometres away.

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