Saturday, September 18, 2021

Four new COVID-19 cases recorded in Melbourne, restrictions to start at 6 pm

Victoria recorded four new COVID-19 cases Tuesday afternoon, with the tally now rising to nine people.
A man in his 60s was identified as the fifth case, with Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton concerned the man may have been infectious since at least May 17.
All four new infections are family contacts of the fifth case announced this morning.
The latest infections come after a testing blitz in Melbourne as a cluster in the northern suburbs emerged over the past week, with exposure sites rapidly increasing.
Today, McDonalds in Clifton Hill and Bamboo House in Melbourne’s CBD joined the Tier One list.
They are the first locations outside The City of Whittlesea to be identified as Tier One.
Specific stores at Highpoint Shopping Centre in Melbourne’s west were also confirmed to be in the Tier One category today.
Anyone who attended those locations during specified times has been told to get tested and isolate.
Earlier today health officials announced sweeping new restrictions for Melbourne to try and contain the outbreak.
The restrictions for Greater Melbourne will start from 6pm, including gatherings of no more than five people in a private home, public gatherings limited to 30 and face masks indoors for those aged 12 years and older.
The new case from this morning is a close contact of the first infection announced yesterday.
“Potentially he has been symptomatic the longest,” Professor Sutton said of the latest case, confirming all five cases in the cluster were infected with the Indian variant of the coronavirus.
“We do not know where he has been in the community.”
Professor Sutton said the man was still being interviewed by contact tracers.
What has been established is case five and case one, a man in his 30s, met for a business transaction last Tuesday, May 18, so health officials believe he was infectious from at least 10 days ago.
Genomic sequencing for the Melbourne northern suburbs outbreak shows it is “closely linked” to the Wollert cluster from earlier this month, which originated in South Australia hotel quarantine, Acting Victorian Premier James Merlino said.
A number of restrictions, scheduled for reassessment on June 4, are being introduced in metropolitan Melbourne to mitigate the risk of the outbreak growing out of control.
From 6pm today, private gatherings in homes will be limited to five people per day.
Public gatherings will be limited to 30 people and face masks will need to be worn indoors unless an exemption applies.
Schools and workplaces will remain open.

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