Teacher tests positive to Covid just hours after state announces 0 cases

·3-min read

Victoria’s “donut day” celebrations have been shattered after the state detected a new Covid-19 infection.

The Department of Health confirmed on Wednesday afternoon the new case is a teacher at Al-Taqwa College in Truganina. 

The school in Melbourne's west has been forced to close as students and staff are plunged into isolation. 

The teacher is currently being interviewed by contract tracers amid urgent investigations into how they contracted the virus.

All students and staff are being told to get tested and isolate until further notice, with transmission risks at the school being assessed.

General view of Signage for Al-Taqwa College in Truganina, Melbourne, Thursday, July 16, 2020. Source: AAP
Victoria has recorded a new case of Covid-19, with the health department confirming the positive case is a teacher at Al-Taqwa College in Melbourne's west. Source: AAP

Just hours earlier, Victoria reported its first day of no infections in weeks and the Chief Health Officer took to Twitter to express his relief.

Brett Sutton shared the viral image of Ariarne Titmus’s coach Dean Boxall, whose ecstatic reaction went viral last week after she won the women’s 400m freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics.

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Authorities had warned Victorians the clean sheet didn’t mean any reprieve to the current restrictions. The state only came out of a strict lockdown a week ago.

"We still have active cases in our community right here that we know about ... we've still got just under 3000 primary close contacts ... and we still have ongoing risks in the rest of the eastern seaboard," COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar said on Wednesday.

He noted officials were recently caught off guard by the unlinked case of a Moonee Valley testing site traffic controller.

Sydney's Delta outbreak is being cited as the reason behind the cautious approach.

"I fully acknowledge that there are some rules that are on at the moment that are very difficult, but they are nothing compared to being locked down again," Premier Daniel Andrews said.

A general view along Bourke Street in Melbourne, Sunday, July 18, 2021. Victoria was in day three of lockdown. Source: AAP
Victoria only came out of lockdown a week ago. Authorities said low case numbers didn’t mean any rules would be relaxed. Source: AAP

Victorian Opposition calls for easing of restrictions 

But Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien still wants the ban on home visits to be lifted and the 25 per cent cap on workers in offices to be increased.

"Our city is a ghost town," he said.

Victoria to open up thousands more Pfizer bookings

Thousands of extra appointments will become available each week in Victoria for people to receive the Pfizer jab.

There are nearly 60,000 vaccination bookings available in Victoria, including some 14,000 Pfizer appointments each week until early September after second dose wait times at state clinics were upped from three to six weeks.

But authorities are warning demand continues to outstrip supply for the COVID-19 shot.

The health department is also looking at rolling out AstraZeneca shots at mass vaccination hubs for Australians under 60.

None of the nine COVID-19 patients hospitalised in Victoria were fully vaccinated. Two remain in intensive care, including one on a ventilator.

Meanwhile, the Victorian-NSW border bubble officially tightened for residents just before midnight on Wednesday, with all non-essential movement across state lines outlawed.

with AAP

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