'Very live outbreak': Covid cluster 'sparks snap lockdown talks'

Brianne Tolj
·3-min read

There are fears Melbourne could plunge into a snap lockdown on Friday after a Covid-19 outbreak linked to a Holiday Inn grew to 13 cases.

It is believed all of those diagnosed have the highly-infectious coronavirus variant strain from the UK.

Health officials said the virus was able to spread from returned travellers to staff members through a medical instrument.

The outbreak has raised serious concerns of a possible third lockdown, which could be implemented within days or as soon as Friday night, according to the Herald Sun.

People line up as they wait to be tested for Covid-19 at the Sunbury Respiratory Clinic in Melbourne.
There are fears Melbourne could plunge back into a snap lockdown on Friday after the Covid outbreak linked to a Holiday Inn grew to 13 cases. Source: AAP

Victorian authorities, including Premier Dan Andrews, held a heated meeting on Thursday night to discuss the framework of a snap lockdown, the publication reported, citing an unnamed source.

Jane Halton, who’s on the board of the federal government’s National Covid-19 Coordination Commission, said while the number of new cases was "worrying" their source had also been identified.

“At the moment we are not seeing reports of any cases that have an unidentified source,” she told Nine's Today Show.

“I really hope we don't need to lockdown, but everybody right now needs to read that list of what the hotspots are, think about where they have been, get themselves tested.”

Police in front of the Holiday Inn near Melbourne Airport.
Quarantining hotel guests at the Holiday Inn near the Airport have been moved to a new location in Melbourne. Source: AAP

Covid-19 outbreak continues to grow

On Thursday afternoon, health officials confirmed three more cases linked to the Holiday Inn outbreak.

Just hours later, yet another two were added to the growing total.

They include a female assistant manager at the hotel and two men, both partners of female workers who earlier tested positive to Covid-19.

One of the men may be linked to Camberwell Grammar School in Melbourne’s east.

People waiting for coronavirus tests wearing masks.
Authorities have confirmed 13 Covid-19 cases have been linked to the Holiday Inn outbreak. Source: AAP

“We believe there will be some additional exposure sites emerging from some of these cases,” Victoria's Covid-19 testing commander Jeroen Weimar said on Thursday.

Mr Weimar said authorities were “right on top” of the outbreak, picking up cases among identified contacts who had tested negative just days earlier.

“Clearly it is a very live outbreak, we are at this stage reassured by the fact that all of these positives emerged from a primary contact field, that is important to us,” he said.

“This is by no means over.

“We are still in the opening quarter of the Holiday Inn outbreak, I'm afraid. We've got a lot more work to do.”

Victoria’s coronavirus exposure sites

Visitors to the following venues at the specified times must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days:

Friday, February 5

  • PJ's Pet Warehouse, Sunbury, 3.37pm - 4.10pm

  • Bakers Delight, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, 3.40pm - 4.15pm

  • Aldente Deli, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, 3.45pm - 4.23pm

  • Sushi Sushi, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, 3.53pm - 4.28pm

  • Asian Star, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, 3.57pm - 4.30pm

Saturday, February 6

  • Cellarbrations, Sunbury, 6.17pm - 7.02pm

  • Sunny Life Massage, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, 4.30 - 6.30pm

Sunday, February 7

  • Cellarbrations, Sunbury, 5.44pm - 6.19pm

Tuesday, February 9

  • Commonwealth Bank, Glen Waverley, 1.30pm - 2.15pm

  • HSBC Bank, Glen Waverley, 2.15pm - 3.30pm

Friday, February 5

  • Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, 3.40pm - 4.30pm

Tuesday, February 9

  • Brunetti cafe in Terminal 4 at Melbourne Airport, 4.45am and 1.15pm

with AAP

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