Viral News

Alerts issued for locations in Victoria

Victoria has issued health alerts for several venues after the unwelcome news that its streak of 61 days without a locally acquired COVID-19 case is over.

    Victoria’s streak of 61 days without a single locally acquired case of COVID-19 has ended.

    Three cases — two women in their 40s and a woman in her 70s — were reported to authorities in Melbourne on Wednesday afternoon, and none of them were in hotel quarantine.

    Authorities have already been in touch with all three cases’ close contacts and advised them to isolate.

    The three cases are from Hallam, Mitcham and Mentone, all in Melbourne’s southeast.

    A spokesperson for the Victorian Government says the three new cases are believed to be linked to the Sydney cluster.

    Victoria’s Commander of COVID-19 response, Jeroen Weimar, said in a statement that close contacts were identified. 

    “We have three cases that are self-isolating at home and are being supported and monitored … We have been in this position before and we are deploying our full outbreak approach around these cases,” Mr Weimar said.

    “Extensive contact tracing is underway and as a result there are currently more than 40 primary close contacts that are being supported to isolate.”

    Victoria is moving quickly to tighten its border restrictions with NSW, where a cluster on the northern beaches is now just one of a number of hot spots. The new rules come into effect from 11:59pm today.

    Yesterday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian described an outbreak of six cases in Croydon, in Sydney’s inner-west, as “concerning”. There was also one more  infection in Wollongong, 120km south of Sydney. 

    Things escalated again after her media conference, with a pharmacy in the Blue Mountains suburb of Katoomba breaking the news on social media that a staff member had tested positive for the virus.

    The latest alert from NSW Health says people infected with COVID-19 visited a host of venues in southwest Sydney. The suburbs of most concern now include Bankstown, Bass Hill, Punchbowl and Liverpool.

    Ms Berejiklian pleaded for anyone in the state with even the mildest of symptoms to come forward for testing in a bid to get on top of the outbreak.

    She also announced an urgent tightening of restrictions for New Year’s Eve across Greater Sydney, with indoor gatherings limited to just five people and outdoor groups restricted to 30 until further notice. 

    “Our preferred advice is that people just stay home for New Year’s Eve, but if (you) must have people over, don’t have more than five and please make sure you have adequate social distancing, good ventilation, all those things Dr Chant and the health experts talk about,” she said.

    Read on for the latest news.

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