Four new COVID-19 cases have been discovered among families in northern Melbourne and source investigations have begun.
Health Minister Martin Foley confirmed that in addition to the two cases revealed on Monday, two more tested positive for the coronavirus.
Health officials were warned about the deployment of the cluster when a Whittlesea man presented for testing on Sunday after developing symptoms on Thursday.
He and another man, a relative of a man in another household, were both positive.
Women living with Whittlesea men and preschool children have also been confirmed to be COVID positive.
The other family members of the two households are also isolated and have been tested negative so far.
Maribyrnong’s Highpoint Shopping Center and Bundora Swimming School are listed as the first exposure sites.
Anyone who attends a “Tier 1” site at certain times on Thursday and Friday must be tested and quarantined for 14 days, regardless of the outcome.
Brett Sutton, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, said test results indicate that Whittlesea men carry high viral loads and may have been infected by accidental contact. ..
“He’s very likely to be infectious,” he told reporters on Monday.
“We need to be prepared for other positive things. Close contact that makes us positive increases our chances of being positive even in casual contact.”
Foley said there were no signs that the COVID-positive family was associated with the location visited by a Victorian man infected with the coronavirus in a hotel quarantine in South Australia.
The agency admitted last week that it listed the wrong supermarket as a location of exposure during the outbreak earlier this month.
People were warned two weeks ago about potential exposure of Eping to Woolworths.
The advice was revised on Friday after it was discovered that a man from Wollert in northern Melbourne actually shopped in Woolworths, Epping North, three kilometers away.
Foley said the infection period for Whittlesea men could have started on May 18, shortly after COVID-infected returnees re-entered the hotel’s quarantine.
“We do not rule out the prospect of having a link,” he said.
“The dates don’t match right away, so we can’t rule out if there are any missing links there.”
He added that the results of genomic sequencing expected as early as Tuesday may help establish the origin of the cluster.
Looking for potential missing links, Foley urged anyone with symptoms to take part in the test and extended business hours throughout Melbourne’s major sites until 8 pm on Monday.
Earlier, opposition leader Mike O’Brien said it was clear that the government had stuffed contact tracing.
“Frankly, the Minister of Health and other ministers will have to lose their jobs if there is another outbreak in Melbourne because the government did not do the basics correctly,” he said.
The four new cases snapped Victoria’s 86 days in a row without locally acquired cases, and Foley said some complacency had emerged.
Paul Kelly, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, said he clearly reminded people that they need to be vaccinated.
“We are approaching winter very early,” he told Canberra reporters.
“We were in a very good position this year when it comes to acquisitions in Australia, but that can change very quickly.”
Meanwhile, police have launched a two-week compliance blitz to ensure that public transport users wear masks after Melbourne’s train and tram compliance rates have declined.
Police officers from Monday have targeted station and tram routes and have fined up to $ 200 for those who refuse to provide masks.