State registers four new local cases of COVID-19 in first day of lockdown
“Positive cases at the door, primary close contacts at the door. If we have this additional ADF staff paired with authorized agents, we are actually doubling our capacity for this really important job, ”Mr. Merlino said.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the staff would help “contain the outbreak and protect the Victorians”.
Mr Hunt said there was “real cause for hope” based on the low numbers of cases announced in Victoria on Friday, the strong contact tracing system in place and the high numbers of COVID tests.
Mr Weimar said a person who tested positive was at the Sporting Globe in Mordialloc between 6:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, May 23, when another positive case was at the scene.
He said five locations were of particular concern for transmission:
- The Sporting Globe in Mordialloc between 6.15 p.m. and 9.45 p.m. on May 23
- Les Trois Singes in Prahran, from 9:10 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday May 22 and from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on May 23
- Somewhere Bar in Prahran, from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. on May 22
- The Palace Hotel in South Melbourne, 5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Friday, May 21
- The Local in Port Melbourne, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on May 21
While major venues such as the MCG and Marvel Stadium are also exhibition venues, Mr. Weimar said these five pubs and clubs are of more concern because of the way people act and interact inside. .
“[They are] that are of particular concern to us because, essentially, these are … places where we expect to see significant numbers of people nearby, dancing, singing, doing whatever they are doing, ”he said.
“[At] in one of these locations we have now had a case of confirmed community transmission.
He also said there were a number of places people may not have checked in via the QR code.
“We have a number of places where we just don’t think we captured all of the people who were in those places. It is important to contact them now, ”Mr. Weimar said.
The owner of the Sporting Globe said the 11 staff working there on Sunday have all been tested for COVID-19 and have all returned negative tests and are now self-isolating.
“We are working closely with Monash Health and DHHS to support contact tracing in any way possible,” said James Sinclair, Managing Director of Signature Hospitality Group.
“In addition to using the Victorian Government’s QR code service … we have provided our full reservation list and any other relevant information for the date in question. On the date and time in question, it was a regular catering service with all the customers seated. “
Two gymnasiums in the inner and south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, and a medical center and pharmacy in north Melbourne have been identified as the latest exhibition sites.
Coles in Yarraville has been identified as a Level 2 exhibition site, with shoppers being asked to leave the supermarket on Friday for a thorough cleaning.
Another new exhibit site was Preston City Hall, with Darebin City Council CEO Sue Wilkinson confirming that a positive COVID-19 case went to a community immunization session on Saturday. The council said the immunization session was not for COVID-19 vaccinations.
“We have a complete file of everyone who was present and have contacted those who were there, including our staff,” said Wilkinson.
South Australia tightened its border on Friday with Police Commissioner Grant Stevens announcing new instructions to bar Victorians from the region from entering the state.
“The only exception is for Victorians who reside within 70 kilometers of the South Australian border. They will still be allowed to enter South Australia and operate as they normally do without being affected, ”he said.
The Victorian lockdown is the first COVID-related economic shutdown since the JobKeeper wage subsidy program closed at the end of March and Thursday’s announcement has left thousands of businesses and their employees in financial uncertainty.
the Australian industrial group, claiming Victorian businesses will take a direct $ 1 billion hit from the foreclosure along with another $ 1.5 billion in indirect costs, is one of many organizations calling on the Victorian and federal governments to provide a financial lifeline to businesses.
Mr Merlino said on Friday that a support package would be announced in the coming days
The group’s Victorian director, Tim Piper, said state government aid needed to cover more than the small business sector. Mr Piper said the Commonwealth should step in with some form of income support while the state package should be aimed at keeping employers afloat.
Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra urged state and federal governments to act quickly. “Business is bleeding today, statewide, not just in the CBD,” Guerra said.
The state government set up a dedicated vaccination hotline on Friday morning after the coronavirus hotline crashed for several hours on Thursday amid an overwhelming demand following its decision to offer vaccinations to people over 40.
But the new service also performed poorly as tens of thousands of people tried to call at the same time.
Callers said they hung up, their calls went unanswered, or continually heard the engage signal when they tried to switch to the new vaccine line. Some calls went unanswered by mid-afternoon.
Despite the problems, Victoria broke her record for the most vaccine doses given in a single day.
Health Department data shows 41,389 doses were administered on Thursday, breaking the previous record of more than 10,000 doses.
Ben Cowie, the health department’s immunization program chief, said state health officials would like the immunization program to be extended to people under 40 as soon as the state has the capacity.
“I would love to see eligibility expanded as soon as we have the capacity,” said Professor Cowie.
Austin Health is looking for ways to increase its ability to deliver doses of Pfizer after being fully booked for appointments until the end of June.
A hospital spokesperson said a short-lived mass vaccination clinic at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital was inundated with calls from Melburnians aged 40 to 49 on Thursday who were racing to get their vaccines as eligibility was broadened.
The head of a Melbourne infectious disease institute said she believed the seven-day lockdown would be long enough for Victoria to overcome the outbreak which was sparked by a leak from South Australia’s hotel quarantine.
Sharon Lewin, director of the Doherty Institute, said it was unclear whether COVID-19 cases could be brought under control in Victoria in just a week, the lockdown would give contact tracers time to get in touch with all people potentially exposed to the virus.
“There are something like 10,000 people in quarantine. Not so much to stop transmission as to bring these contacts under control and make sure they are at home and quarantined, ”Professor Lewin told Nine’s Today show. “I’m pretty confident that seven days should be enough.”
Latrobe epidemiologist Hassan Vally said Victorians should be happy that contact tracing systems have been upgraded to have higher capacity than last year.
“The systems in Victoria are completely different from what they were at this time last year,” he told ABC Radio National..
“There have been a lot of lessons that have been learned over the past 12 months, and a lot of changes that have been made, including moving to a decentralized system … we should take some confidence in that we have had the best part of 12 months to fine-tune our systems and processes and increase our ability to deal with exactly those kinds of situations.
The latest lockdown, which dates back to the quarantine of hotels in Adelaide, has intensified debate over plans for a similar ‘village-style’ facility at Howard Springs near Darwin.
Health Minister Greg Hunt stepped up federal support for the victorian proposal Friday saying it was “by far the most advanced” of the states and territories.
Mr Hunt said the government “is looking for partnerships” with other states and territories following the Howard Springs expansion, which is expected to reach a capacity of 2,000 beds in a week.
In an industry briefing on the alternative quarantine proposal this month, Chris Keating, the Victorian official leading the project, revealed that other Australian states and territories are investigating the construction of their own facility. .
“We have had representations from other jurisdictions to share information which we are of course very happy to do and share whatever we have,” said Mr Keating, a senior official in the Prime Minister’s and Cabinet’s ministry. .
He also said Victoria’s deliberations with the federal government involved a discussion of an alternative national quarantine strategy.
As Avalon Airport reappears as the favorite to host the quarantine site, Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson put her weight behind the “far superior proposition” on Friday.
She accused the Victorian government of “not doing her basic homework” at her favorite site in Mickleham, which sits next to a pet quarantine facility the Commonwealth hopes to expand in the future.
“If someone had called the Federal Minister of Agriculture, he would have learned that it is not possible to build this facility next to the Mickleham Animal Quarantine Center which is to be expanded with biosecurity buffer zones appropriate, ”said Henderson, whose office is in Geelong, near Avalon.
With Abbi Dib, Craig Butt