Vic urged to 'staycation' for long weekend

Christine McGinn
A prep student is one of Victoria's three latest coronavirus cases, forcing the school to close

Stay home this long weekend unless you absolutely have to leave, Victoria's chief health officer says as the state deals with a community coronavirus outbreak and potentially massive CBD protest.

With the Queen's Birthday long weekend, there is a risk of more community transmission with a Black Lives Matter protest planned for Melbourne on Saturday.

Professor Brett Sutton told Victorians to follow his directions to stay home unless they really need to prevent the spread of the virus.

"There is a risk that all of the gains that we have made are put at risk by people gathering in large numbers. It takes a single individual who is infectious to potentially transmit to many others in a mass gathering setting," he told reporters on Friday.

Victorians are urged to even avoid the shops unless it's essential.

"If you don't have to go shopping every day, it's much better to minimise the number of people who go shopping, to go at times when there are not so many people there," Prof Sutton said.

While transmission is down to extremely low levels and a spike isn't a given result of the protest, the greater numbers increases the risk.

Premier Daniel Andrews had one clear message to protesters - "Don't go" and find a safer way to make the same point.

"We are in the middle of a global pandemic. This is serious," Mr Andrews told reporters.

"We don't want all the hard work, all the sacrifice that Victorians have made, frittered away by people gathering to make an important point, but it is not the only way to make that point."

It comes as a community outbreak in Melbourne's north and west closes another school.

A Prep student at Newbury Primary School in Craigieburn is among the state's three latest cases of COVID-19.

"The recent cases illustrate there really is ongoing community transmission in Victoria, it's at very low levels," Prof Sutton said.

"Right from Keilor Downs through to Fawkner, to Craigieburn, this is where in the last couple of weeks we've seen community cases.

"These areas of Melbourne appear to be the hotspots at the moment."

The infectious Prep student went to school without symptoms late last week but developed symptoms at the weekend, Prof Sutton said.

The student was tested on Wednesday. The health department became aware of the result late on Thursday and the school was shut on Friday for cleaning.

Contact tracing is being done to identify whether any staff or students are required to self-isolate and determine if further action is required.

The other two latest cases are in hotel quarantine, bringing the state's recorded cases to 1681, with 75 still active.

There are 178 cases acquired through unknown transmission.

Seven people are in hospital, with one in intensive care.

So far, 1586 people have recovered and 19 people have died.