Victoria confirms two surprise community virus cases

Victoria has more than 1000 virus cases, for the first time in five days.

Victoria has more than 1000 virus cases, for the first time in five days.

Victorian health authorities have confirmed two new locally acquired cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, after earlier reporting no new cases.

The cases were confirmed after midnight on Monday, and will officially be part of Wednesday’s figures.

They are residents of a housing complex in Southbank, in Melbourne’s inner city, and have been isolating amid fears the virus was spreading in common areas of the development.

Both are close contacts of an existing positive case.

A total of six people who live in the Southbank townhouses have now tested positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar said the two new cases were both men, who live in separate apartments “adjacent to the four other positive cases that we’ve already seen in that wider complex”.

“Those two positive cases are connected to some communal areas that we are concerned about, thoroughfares within that particular complex,” Mr Weimar said.

The first three cases were transferred to hotel quarantine after testing positive.

One positive case, a baby, is still in the complex with its mother.

Hundreds of people who live in the low-rise community were forced into self-isolation on Sunday, after authorities established a link between two previous coronavirus cases who live there.

On Monday, the townhouses were identified as the common link between an aged-care worker, who lives in the development, and another resident who was confirmed with the virus at the weekend.

Authorities set up a pop-up testing clinic at the complex on Monday, and the registered owners of the 100-plus dwellings in the development were notified.

Nurses were going door to door, aiming to test everyone in the complex.

  • Check Victoria’s public exposure sites here

On Tuesday, Health Minister Martin Foley said more than 200 people had already been tested.

“We’ve started to get those results this morning. I can confirm that we have been notified of two further positive cases inside that building amongst people that we have identified as primary close contacts through those testing actions yesterday,” he said.

Tuesday afternoon’s update came after the state health department earlier confirmed Victoria had no locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning.

Some 15,067 Victorians were tested and 9997 received a vaccine dose at a state-run hub during the same period.

Walk-in vaccinations for the Pfizer vaccine have been halted in Victoria for the rest of the week to try to preserve supply for already booked first and second doses.

“We have the supply to meet all those second doses … but we can’t keep doing the first doses at the rate that we would like to,” Mr Foley said.

Victorians who are aged over 50 years old are still able to attend walk-in appointments at vaccination hubs to receive the AstraZeneca jab, according to the Department of Health.

-with AAP

Topics: COVID-19
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