Australia

Victoria’s COVID-19 cases climb as 26 infections recorded

Victoria has recorded another jump in new local cases of COVID-19 with 26 infections detected today.

The Department of Health said all 26 cases were linked to current outbreaks, with 24 people in quarantine throughout their entire infectious period.

The two cases in the community include a woman who travelled to Melbourne from East Gippsland and stopped at a regional petrol station to get fuel on the route back.

The case is linked to Trinity Grammar School in Kew.

Health Minister Martin Foley said the woman did an “outstanding job” to minimise the transmission risk.

Acting Chief Health Officer Professor Ben Cowie echoed the health minister’s praise, revealing the woman even disinfected the credit card she used to pay for petrol.

“We have seen today, that when a case was notified, they immediately travelled back home from regional Victoria into isolation, as required,” he said.

“And they only made that one stop for petrol, had limited contact with staff, and even disinfected the credit card that they were using before handing it over.

Health Minister Martin Foley speaks at a press conference after 26 new cases were recorded. (Nine)

“These other types of COVID safe behaviours that limit the spread of the virus and keep all of us safe, our families and friends and the entire community.”

Victoria’s COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar reiterated the woman displayed “exemplary COVID-safe behaviours”.

She was masked and sanitised her hands before entering the servo and tried to keep her distance.

“They were in there for literally moments, the bare minimum of engagement they needed to have,” he said.

“Driving back from East Gippsland into the city – that’s a challenging drive to make, you need to get fuel. I’d absolutely commend that person.

“She’s done a fantastic job.”

The other case in the community was linked to the Wallabies game at AAMI Park, who attended the Prahran Market last Saturday, turning it into a Tier One exposure site between 9.40am and 11.15am.

“We use this opportunity to reach out to the over 900 people who checked into those venues under the QR code system,” Mr Foley said.

Anyone who attended the Prahran Market during the times of concern on Saturday must get tested and quarantine for 14 days.

The Prahran Market has closed after a COVID-19 case attended. Credit: Prahran Market (Supplied)

Mr Weimar said the case did not break isolation requirements by going to the market as they were initially classed as a Tier Two contact.

“They returned a negative test on the 16th. They were then free from their Tier Two isolation,” he explained.

“Then we redefined our Tier One definition on the back of the evidence we’d seen at AAMI Park over subsequent days.

“They were entitled to be out in the community on Saturday. They got the message from us, immediately isolated and tested positive.”

More than 43,600 tests were conducted yesterday.

There are more than 19,000 primary close contacts isolating in the state.

The current Victorian cluster is now at 133 cases to date.

Mr Foley warned the 19,000 people isolating could turn positive in the coming days.

“There is every chance that many of those 19,000 people who are monitoring as primary close contacts can turn positive,” he said.

There have now been 14 cases associated with the Geelong versus Carlton AFL game at the MCG on July 10, thought to have been transmitted while crowds queued outside a stadium gate.

“We’ve seen this CCTV footage of the mingling, we know it is another case of transmission, in the queues getting into Gate 7. We talked a few days ago about a case coming through Gate 6,” Mr Weimar said.

“So again we are seeing the transmission of the unstructured crowds outside of major events.”

Victoria’s case number breakdown

Victoria’s 26 new cases include:

– Seven cases linked to Trinity Grammar, including two staff, one student and four households contacts

– Six cases linked to Miss Frankie’s, including one staff member, three patrons who visited on July 13, one patron who visited on July 15 and one household contact

– Two cases linked to Phillip Island, a member of the group of friends and a household contact

– Five cases linked to St Patrick’s Primary School in Murrumbeena, including four students and a household contact

– One case linked to the MCG, a household contact

– Two household contacts of the index case in Mildura

– Two household contacts from the City of Hume cluster

– One case linked to AAMI Park

Highest infection numbers in almost a year

Today marks the highest daily total since August last year and overtakes yesterday’s case number jump of 22 infections.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton yesterday warned if Victoria had not locked down when it did, case numbers would have blown out of control due to the highly infectious Delta variant.

“Can you imagine what the situation we could be in if we hadn’t locked down, when we locked down – if those 22 individuals were all out in the community, not just for a day, but for their entirety infectious period?” Professor Sutton said.

“If you do not lockdown that is what happens.”

The Victorian Government this week declared it needed another week to get its coronavirus outbreaks under control before the state could exit lockdown.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the state could not risk case numbers spiralling out of control like they had in Sydney.

“We need to avoid what is going on in Sydney at the moment,” Mr Andrews said.

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