COVID-19

Two new cases; Victoria on track for more eased restrictions

Authorities remain confident they can ease restrictions over the next week, but Victorians are being urged to keep getting tested.Two new cases of local transmission were announced on Monday, along with four in hotel quarantine.The latest locally acquired cases are primary close contacts of existing cases, with no community exposure during their infectious period.It comes as the Health Department continues to chase the source of a group of recent mystery cases, with a decision on crowds at AFL games likely to be made later in the week.Chief health officer Professor Brett Sutton said on Sunday that Victoria was well positioned.“We’re on track for more easing in regional Victoria and the same for metropolitan Melbourne,” he said.“Exactly what that will look like is to be determined.“The closer you are to that declaration, if you like, the greater the confidence you can have that that’s an appropriate step.”Prof Sutton it was still too early to know what the advice would be for crowds at the footy, with games scheduled in Victoria next week.He said daily testing numbers, which have dropped in recent days, wouldn’t be the only issue deciding restrictions but urged Victorians with symptoms to keep coming forward.The state recorded one new positive case on Sunday, a close contact linked to the Arcare Maidstone outbreak, but not an aged care resident.There are now 64 active cases of Covid-19 in Victoria, and more sites in Melbourne have been identified as exposure sites.The 4 Freshwater Place building at Southbank was named a tier 2 exposure site on June 11 from 8.40am to 9.25am and again from 4.50pm to 5.40pm, June 10 from 8.40am to 9.25am and again from 4.50pm to 5.30pm, and June 9 from 8.40am to 9.25am and again from 4.35pm to 5.30pm.Coles Express on the Melton Highway in Taylors Lakes has also been deemed a tier 2 site, with anyone who attended the service station between 10.30am and 11am on May 21 urged to get tested urgently and isolate until a negative result is received. When asked about recent mystery cases, including a couple who went to Queensland, Prof Sutton said authorities were still narrowing down the source of the infections.“Some of them have moderately established links – not absolutely definitive, but a pretty good sign that they’re linked,” he said. “The genomics tells us even more – that they’re the Kappa variant for some of them.“It is not over yet and certainly we want that high level of testing to be able to give that assurance about any other cases that might be out there.”Acting Premier James Merlino tipped a further easing of restrictions for regional Victoria towards the end of the week.“Like every person in Victoria, I want to get back to the settings that we had a few weeks ago,’’ he said.Deoples COVID-19 Victorian Exposure Sites TablePUSH FOR NEW Covid INQUIRY An Inquiry into the Victorian government’s handling of the pandemic would be reopened under a bold push by the state opposition, who claim 30 “fundamental mistakes” have led to outbreaks and lockdowns in the past six months.The Liberal Nationals will on Monday seek the support of Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) members to reopen the Inquiry.The last report, which was tabled in Parliament in February, was set up “in recognition of the importance of providing information to the public during this unprecedented crisis”.But since December last year, more “fundamental mistakes” have been made, the state opposition claim.Read the full story here.

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