Second Black Lives Matter protester tests positive for coronavirus

Josh Dutton
News Reporter

A second person who attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Melbourne has tested positive for coronavirus.

Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton told reporters on Monday a young woman who attended the demonstration on June 6 is the latest protester to have been confirmed with the virus.

A man in his 30s, who also attended the Melbourne protest, had already tested positive for coronavirus it was announced last Thursday.

Mr Sutton said on Monday it was “very unlikely” the second case was contracted at the rally as the woman was wearing personal protective equipment.

Protesters rally for Black Lives Matter in Melbourne. Source: AAP

Professor Sutton added the protester was also “minimally symptomatic” so it’s “unlikely” they transmitted the illness to anyone else.

“But I think because we’ve prompted everyone who’s attended the protest with any symptoms, no matter how mild to come forward for testing, this individual’s been identified as a positive case,” he told reporters.

“Nonetheless (it) might have been acquired at a number of other places that this individual has been to.”

He said this latest case was “unrelated” to the man in his 30s.

She was among 12 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Victoria on Monday.

Earlier, a southeast Melbourne primary school was closed after two students tested positive.

A Victorian Department of Education spokesperson said the two children from Pakenham Springs Primary School are both from the same family.

While the school undergoes thorough cleaning and risk assessment, staff and students have been advised to stay at home, according to an email which appears to have been sent to parents and carers by the school’s acting principal Renee Cotterell.

More protesters hit Melbourne's streets. Source: AAP

In the email, Ms Cotterell said the school would be closed on Monday following advice from Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Education.

“Students and staff who have attended the school are required to remain at home while contact tracing occurs,” Ms Cotterell wrote in the email, adding parents and carers would be informed when contact tracing was completed.

“I understand this news may be concerning. I want to assure you we are strictly following the public health advice of DHHS to ensure the safety of all staff and students.”

Protesters ‘incredibly self-indulgent’, minister says

Last week, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann called those who took part in the Black Lives Matter protests across Australia "incredibly self-indulgent".

"I think it is incredibly selfish, it's incredibly self-indulgent and it does impose an unnecessary and unacceptable risk on to the community," Mr Cormann told Sky News Sunday Agenda Program.

The minister said the protests were “hard to watch”.

Many of the protests were triggered by the death of African American man George Floyd.

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