'Take this very seriously': Virus cases surge in Victorian hotspots

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter
·4-min read

Victoria has confirmed a further 16 coronavirus cases as the state continues to experience a surge in community transmission.

Twelve of those cases are believed to be from community transmission, six of which are linked to existing cases, Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos announced on Monday morning.

There are now 125 active cases in the state.

The state announced a further 19 cases on Sunday and 25 on Saturday. Only nine of the 60 cases in the past three days were in hotel quarantine.

On Sunday, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee advised against travelling to the local government areas of Hume, Casey, Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin in the Melbourne region due to the spike in cases.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos announced a further 16 coronavirus cases on Monday. Source: ABC
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos announced a further 16 coronavirus cases on Monday. Source: ABC

Ms Mikakos announced a team of 50 will from Monday begin door knocking in Brimbank and Cardinia to provide coronavirus testing information and support.

“We have been concerned that some people may be taking some risks with their health and with the health of others by still going out into the community, even though they might have gone for a test and haven't yet received a test result, or may have been identified as a close contact,” she said.

“If you go and get tested, you must stay at home until you receive your test result.

“We ask people to take this very seriously because it could be infectious and could be spreading the virus to others in the community.”

The ABC’s medical expert Dr Norman Swan called the latest increase “troubling”.

“It is in the community. It's spreading in families and households [but] it's not just households. It's spread from hotel quarantine,” he said.

Twelve cases of community transmission in a 24 hour period is the worst total for the state since early April and is a worry trend for authorities.

Ms Mikakos urged Victorians to come forward and get tested amid a rise in cases.

Victorians are being urged to get tested as community transmission continues to rise. Source: AAP
Victorians are being urged to get tested as community transmission continues to rise. Source: AAP

“I do want to emphasise to the community broadly that, as we do have community transmission still in Victoria, people should get tested even if they have very, very mild symptoms,” she said.

BLM protester among new cases

Two contractors linked to the Stamford Plaza hotel outbreak have tested positive taking that particular cluster to 14 cases.

There are two new cases linked to Albanvale Primary School in the city’s west, with two teachers becoming the second and third cases linked to the school.

Investigations are underway to identify whether the cases are linked to the nearby Keilor Downs family outbreak, with some students in contact with family members.

There are a further two cases linked to the H&M store at Northland Shopping Centre. Two staff members have tested positive, one who attended the Black Lives Matter protest on June 6.

They are the third and fourth cases linked to the store, which is undergoing a thorough clean.

It is believed the case was not acquired at the protest and the individual was wearing a mask.

A toddler from Great Beginnings Nursery in Reservoir has tested positive, forcing the closure of the centre.

Queensland premier ‘concerned’ over outbreak

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday told reporters the ongoing outbreak in Victoria was a concern to the rest of the country.

“I have concerns about Victoria. The Health Minister has concerns about Victoria,” she said.

“There is a lot of active community transmission happening in Victoria and I hope that Victoria can get this community transmission under control.”

Ms Palaszczuk said she would wait for Friday’s National Cabinet meeting before discussing the possibility of opening the state’s borders to all apart from Victoria.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned NSW residents they should not be travelling to any of the six hotspots identified while she urged anyone travelling to Melbourne to reconsider if their trips are essential.

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