The Covid-19 clustercovid in Melbourne’s north has ballooned to 15, after six new cases were detected in the community.
Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino said the AFL and the MCG were “prepared for this moment”, after an infected person in the cluster was confirmed as watching a match at the city’s biggest stadium, with thousands of fans at the game.
Mr Merlino said he “would not rule out” further restrictions and imposing a lockdown, with concern growing over the number of days people in the cluster had been out in the community.
The next 24 hours are critical,” he said.
“Everyone is linked at this stage, but we are concerned about the number and the kind of exposure sites.”
“I can’t rule out making further changes.”
Mr Merlino acknowledged interstate supporters from South Australia, who had travelled to the MCG to watch Port Adelaide play Collingwood, were at potential risk of infection.
“They will be chased up like anybody,” he said.
The positive MCG case sat in zone four, level one, of the Great Southern Stand, at the Punt Road end of the ground, to watch Collingwood’s nail-biting loss to Port Adelaide on Sunday, the Department of Health said.
Fans seated in bays M1 to M16 will be contacted and told to get tested and isolate but that advice could be extended to more parts of the stadium after security footage is reviewed.
The 100,000-seat venue was less than a quarter full for the Power’s one-point win, but thousands of fans may still have been sitting in the affected section.
At this point, AFL matches will go ahead with crowds despite the outbreak, but they will be subject to changes and masks, Mr Merlino said.
However, decisions on crowd capacity may change, depending on the next 24 hours.
Lockdown possible, hundreds of close contacts tracked
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said possible lockdown restrictions would hinge on further review of the epidemiology of today’s new cases.
Health officials have identified 301 primary close contacts.
Professor Sutton said it was a “concern” there had “been exposures over a number of days”.
Some of the cluster cases are known to have been infectious and out in the community since at least May 18.