Coronavirus Australia: Masks are back in Victoria as NSW records 65 local cases
Victoria will go into a snap five-day lockdown after two more people contracted coronavirus when an infected man attended an AFL match at the weekend.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the lockdown would last until midnight on Tuesday, declaring: “You only get one chance to go hard and go fast.”
Earlier today, COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar confirmed the two new cases are linked to a Maribyrnong man, who attended the match between Carlton and Geelong at the MCG on Saturday and sat in the MCC member’s reserve on level 2.
Mr Weimar said it the two new football cases were an instance of of “stranger-to-stranger transmission”.
The infected man, aged in his 60s, attended the match with a man in his 50s from Barwon Heads, who has subsequently tested positive.
The Barwon Heads man is understood to be a teacher at Bacchus Marsh Grammar and has infected his household contacts, a man in his 60s and a nine-year-old child.
Both Bacchus Marsh Grammar and Barwon Heads Primary School have been closed and more than 3500 students and staff are self-isolating.
The child who tested positive on Thursday is understood to have attended St Patrick’s Primary School in Murrumbeena, which has also closed.
The Maribyrnong man lives at the Ariele Apartments complex, where removalists from NSW, who have since tested positive to COVID-19, were working on July 8.
Some 200 residents of the complex have been told they will need to restart their 14-day quarantine after the cases emerged.
Another case of community transmission occurred at Craigieburn Coles on Saturday, when a man contracted the virus from a member of a family that recently returned from NSW.
The family of four have all progressively tested positive since Sunday. They live in the local government area of Hume and were granted a red zone permit to return from NSW.
Late on Wednesday, it was announced anyone aged over 12 will be required to wear a mask in all indoor settings, including schools and workplaces, unless an exception applies.
Masks must also be worn outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible.
AAP understands Victorian ministers and public health officials are holding meetings on Thursday to discuss reimposing restrictions such as caps on crowd limits and visitors permitted in homes.
There are now more than 70 exposure sites listed in Victoria.
STILL TOO HIGH: NSW RECORDS 65 NEW CASES
NSW has recorded 65 new local COVID-19 cases but the state’s premier has warned the number of infected people in the community remains stubbornly high.
Of the new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday, at least 35 people were out in the community for part or all of their infectious period.
For this reason, Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned on Thursday that the number of daily coronavirus infections was likely to again rise in the coming days.
“I am anticipating tomorrow the case numbers to be higher, perhaps much higher than what we have seen today,” she said.
“Whilst the case numbers are bouncing around, we are seeing a stabilisation ... they are not growing exponentially,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters.
“That tells us that the settings that we have in place are having an impact. My strongest message to everybody is keep doing what you are doing.”
There are 19 COVID-19 patients in intensive care in NSW, with five ventilated.
QUEENSLAND RECORDS THREE NEW LOCAL CASES
The Queensland government is racing to avoid Brisbane’s fourth lockdown this year after three locally acquired cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the the city.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the three cases include a 12-year-old boy who flew into the state from Sydney on July 9 and his father.
A fully vaccinated Brisbane Airport worker has also tested positive, which is a major concern for authorities.
Ms Palaszczuk says a face mask mandate due to end on Friday for 11 local government areas will be extended for another seven days.
“That is to avoid a lockdown, we just want to make sure we get on top of those cases and we want to make sure that we keep everybody safe,” she said.
“So another week of wearing masks, but it is the right thing to do.”
Brisbane has already been locked down three times this year amid COVID-19 outbreaks in January, March and in June-July.
In other rules that have been extended, home gatherings are limited to 30 people and venues have to ensure there’s one patron per four square metres.
There are limits on visitors to hospitals, aged care providers and residential disability providers.
The restrictions will be in place until July 23 in Brisbane City, Logan, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the boy had been in the US for three months before arriving with his mother at Sydney Airport on June 21.
They quarantined for 14 days in Sydney before flying to Brisbane on Qantas flight 544 on Friday.
The boy is believed to have passed the virus to his father at their home at Newport on Brisbane’s Bayside. The mother has tested negative, but is in hospital with her son as a precaution.
Dr Young said it’s uncertain whether the boy picked up the virus in hotel quarantine or elsewhere.
The father worked at a Sunshine Coast office on Wednesday, but Dr Young believes the family haven’t visited many venues.
Dr Young said the third case in a female airport worker is “very concerning”.
The woman in her 40s is fully vaccinated with Pfizer and worked three night shifts on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday while infectious.
“I don’t know exactly where they work at the airport, we will have to go through all of that and work out where she’s been,” she said.
The woman lives at Tarragindi and visited Woolworths Annerley from 10.36am till 11.36am on Monday and Chemist Warehouse Annerley from 8.39am to 8.49am on Wednesday.
Authorities are waiting for tests to reveal what COVID-19 strains the three cases have contracted, and where they picked up the virus.
“I suspect we have got definitely one totally new outbreak, and potentially a second,” Dr.Young said.
She revealed that South Korean authorities informed Queensland Health about a passenger who tested positive after arriving from Brisbane last week.
A public health alert was issued on Wednesday for potential exposure venues at North Ipswich, Inala and at the Brisbane Airport on July 9.
Ms Palaszczuk has urged any Queenslanders in Victoria and regional NSW to return to the state amid outbreaks in both states.
The premier said people planning any trips to the southern states should not go.
“I cannot be clearer. We are seeing these little spot fires happening across the nation and we need to make sure we get this under control,” she said.
Queensland reported two COVID-19 cases in hotel quarantine on Thursday.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA ON NOTICE OVER POTENTIAL VIRUS CASES
South Australians have been put on notice to follow COVID-19 rules and regulations or face tougher restrictions in response to a potential local outbreak of the virus.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens says a meeting on Thursday will consider the current situation in SA after three exposure sites were identified linked to infected removalists who came into the state from Sydney.
“I’m giving people due warning that we are actively considering restrictions for South Australia,” Mr Stevens told reporters.
“It is not something we want to do, but given what we are facing in Victoria and NSW, we are making decisions that will be in the best interests of South Australia.”
In response to the NSW outbreak leaking into Victoria, SA has imposed new restrictions on arrivals from Victoria from midnight on Wednesday including mandatory testing within 24 hours.
QLD - three new cases
VIC — two new cases. Ten cases announced yesterday included in tally.
NSW — 65 new cases
TAS — TBA
WA — TBA
ACT — TBA
NT — TBA
SA — TBA
QLD - zero new local cases
VIC — one new local case
NSW — 97 new cases
WA — zero new cases
ACT — zero new cases
NT — zero new cases
SA — zero new cases
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails