Melbourne student tests positive sparking school testing blitz

·4-min read

Several new Tier One exposure sites in Victoria are expected to be added to the list on Saturday after the state recorded five new locally acquired Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hour period.

All of the new cases are linked to a previously identified Covid-19 clusters, with one being identified as a student at a college in Craigieburn.

Victoria's Department of Health testing chief Jeroen Weimar said four of the new infections are linked to case number 16, a delivery driver.

"They either live in the same household or there was a meeting of households, quite appropriately, where transmission occurred," Mr Weimar said.

 Mount Ridley College.
A student at Mount Ridley College tested positive for Covid-19. Source: Google Maps

"One of those is a student at Mount Ridley College," he added, prompting a massive testing blitz of close contacts. 

"My thanks to the school community for their fantastic work late last night and during the course of the next few days as we support them to all get tested," he said.

The fifth case is connected to the Port Melbourne cluster.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley praised the impressive number of people who came forward for testing and received their vaccination.

"Two days ago, we set a record for our Covid-19 tests, and equally for our vaccinations in Victoria, we did it yesterday as well and today we landed a hat-trick of records," he said.

"Yesterday, 21,626 vaccinations in our state run centres and when you include the great work still being done by our GP network, there was well over 40,000 vaccinations in Victoria yesterday."

A Covid testing centre in Melbourne.
Five new Covid-19 cases were identified in Victoria on Saturday. Source: AAP

Coles, Taco Bell among new exposure sites

Victorian authorities have added five new venues to the growing list of exposure sites in the state.

Among the exposure sites is a Coles in Glen Iris and the Taco Bell on Chapel Street.

If a place is listed as 'Tier One' it means people who visited that place with the corresponding times have to get tested immediately and quarantine for 14 days after exposure.

People who have been to a 'Tier Two' exposure site must get tested and quarantine until they receive a negative result.

The new 'Tier One' exposure sites are:

  • La Trobe University, Library Level 1 — Plenty Road & Kingsbury Drive, Bundoora Victoria 3086 on May 25 between 11:45am and 3:00pm 

  • Edu-Kingdom College, 67A Hamilton Street Craigieburn Victoria 3064 on May 22 between 1:20pm - 5:00pm

  • Peninsula Hot Springs (Reception only), 140 Springs Lane, Fingal Victoria 3939 on May 21 between 3:00pm - 3:45pm

  • Taco Bell Chapel Street, 352 Chapel Street, South Yarra Victoria 3141 on May 23 between 5:30pm - 6:45pm

The new 'Tier Two' exposure site is:

  • Coles Tooronga Village, Tooronga Road Glen Iris Victoria 3146 on May 23 between 6:10pm - 6:27pm

A full list of all the exposure sites, dates and times the public should be aware of can be found on the Victorian Government's website here.

Victoria handling Covid outbreak 'day-by-day'

When asked if Melbourne will end the 7-day, snap lockdown this coming Friday, Mr Weimar said authorities are handling the outbreak "day-by-day".

"When we sat here 24 hours ago, we were focused on clubs and social networks and were not looking at a chain of food, grocery stores. That is today's focus," he said.

"We are making progress, some results are coming through already with the staff associated with those stores and we do not know what is in store in the next 24 hours. 

"So we are making exceptional progress in terms of contact tracing, and we are I think getting close on the heels this outbreak."

He said there have been instances where cases have "taken a while" to get tested and long exposure in communities means "potentially a lot of branches to chase".

He urged anyone who has reason to be concerned about their health to get tested.

"We asked for seven days [the lockdown] because there is a lot of work and depth to go into and we will do it as hard as we can over the days ahead," he added.

More to come.

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