As Victorians get set to find out their lockdown fate, South Australians are waking up to new restrictions and NSW is facing up to the tragic consequences of its COVID outbreak.
Dozens of exposure sites have been named across three states and leaders deciding on the timelines and strength of stay-at-home orders.
Here’s what we know so far on Tuesday morning.
Victoria’s lockdown will be extended
Premier Daniel Andrews is due to confirm how long the state’s lockdown will extend beyond midnight Tuesday.
On Monday, Mr Andrews said the lockdown had prevented “thousands” of people contracting COVID-19 but there were still “far too many” cases of community transmission for the rules to lift.
Cases linked to regional areas mean it won’t be possible for the lockdown to be contained to Melbourne in a ‘ring of steel’ scenario adopted during previous outbreaks.
“This is from one end of the state to the other, literally,” Mr Andrews said.
Schools and businesses have been told to prepare for the lockdown to last until at least Friday. The exact timeline will be decided at a meeting with health officials early on Tuesday.
New exposure sites named overnight, and the number of contacts linked to each venue, will play into the decisions.
The latest tier one locations – meaning contacts must isolate for 14 days – named on Monday night are in regional and metro locations, including Cowes on Philip Island and inner-Melbourne suburbs.
That means it’s likely hundreds, possibly thousands, more people would be forced to quarantine on top of the more than 15,000 contacts already identified.
Venues newly listed as tier two – meaning contacts must isolate until they test negative – span as far as Mildura on the northern border.
Tier one sites named after 9pm Monday are:
- 3 Point Training, Port Melbourne, 5.25-7pm, July 15
- Upton Girl cafe, Windsor, 8.30-9.05am, July 14
- Goodlife Health Club, Prahran, 12.45-2.25pm, July 14
The outbreak, which originated from NSW, totals 76 cases after 13 infections reported on Monday morning.
There are now 15,800 close contacts and more than 320 exposure sites.
- Click here to see the full list of Victorian exposure sites
Unvaccinated young Melburnians spread the virus
Almost a third of Victoria’s locally-acquired coronavirus cases can be traced back to a man in his 30s who attended an AFL match, a Euro 2020 viewing party and the rugby while unknowingly infectious.
The man contracted the virus at the Geelong-Carlton game at the MCG on July 10.
He sat in the MCC Members’ Reserve near a man in his 60s who lives at the Ariele Apartments in Maribyrnong. The apartments had been visited by a COVID-infected removalist crew from NSW a day earlier.
On July 12, the younger man was at a viewing party at the Crafty Squire in Melbourne’s CBD, watching Italy beat England in the Euro 2020 championship.
Later that day, he headed to Trinity Grammar in Kew, where is a teacher.
The next day, he had dinner at Ms Frankie in Cremorne with 12 friends before heading to the Australia-France rugby union Test match at AAMI Park.
The man had no idea he was infected with the Delta variant and was not presenting with symptoms at the time.
Twelve staff and patrons of Ms Frankie, six students and staff at Trinity Grammar, three people at AAMI Park and one person at the Crafty Squire have since tested positive for COVID-19, sparking their own chains of transmission.
A man in his 30s from Mildura also tested positive after going to the MCG to watch the footy. He is the border town’s first recorded case of COVID-19 since March 2020.
A close contact of the man has also tested positive.
Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton said it proved the speed and ease with which the Delta variant spreads.
“It is absolutely an example of how quickly this variant is moving and the short time we’re seeing between exposure and then being infectious,” he said on Monday.
“Last year we would not have seen any circumstances where someone who had been exposed was transmitting to someone else a day and a half later.”
COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar said the outbreak was being fuelled by people under 40 with busy social lives.
Most people in this group remain ineligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
SA determined to ‘go hard and early’ to fight outbreak
South Australians have been hit with tough new coronavirus restrictions amid a growing list of exposure sites as authorities race to contain an outbreak of infections.
By late Monday they had confirmed three positive cases, including an 81-year-old man who entered the country from Argentina, his daughter and another man.
Early on Tuesday, SA authorities confirmed a fourth case linked to the outbreak.
The infections have plunged thousands of people into quarantine with the list of more than a dozen exposure sites, including at least four major shopping centres in Adelaide’s north and north-eastern suburbs.
“We only have one chance to get this right. Our focus from day one has been to go hard and to go early to minimise the level of disruption,” Premier Steven Marshall said.
New SA restrictions include:
- A density change to one person to every four square metres in all venues;
- Team and contact sport cancelled;
- All dining must be seated and dancing and singing is banned;
- Masks are required in all indoor public areas, including shopping centres and also on public transport and in high-risk settings;
- Gyms are closed, along with other non-essential retail venues;
- Family gatherings, including weddings and funerals, will be restricted to 10 people.
The new rules will be reviewed on Friday.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said while SA was not moving to a full lockdown, the restrictions were significant.
“The intent here is to dramatically suppress all discretionary activity in the community,” Mr Stevens said.
SA Health named five potential exposure sites on Monday, including an OPSM store at Golden Grove, a food warehouse at Hindmarsh, the Commonwealth Bank at Modbury and an Aldi Supermarket at St Agnes.
There is also some concern for an outdoor reserve at Glenelg.
SA man travelled through NSW but source unclear
Authorities said the elderly man had returned to Australia through NSW, where he spent 14 days in quarantine.
He returned to SA on July 8 and went to a suburban hospital at the weekend after developing symptoms.
He has been admitted to hospital while Adelaide’s other positive cases have been transferred to the Tom’s Court Hotel, which is used to quarantine those with active infections.
“We don’t draw any conclusions as to where this infection came from. We simply don’t know and it is very early days,” Mr Marshall said.
“Our primary concern at the moment is putting everyone who may have come into contact with this person into quarantine as soon as possible.”
New NSW exposure sites outside the city
Coffs Harbour is on alert after it was confirmed late on Monday that a positive case was a shopper at the Hoey Moey Bottle Shop.
New exposure sites where people are considered ‘close contacts’ include:
- Hoey Moey Bottle Shop, Coffs Harbou, 3.55-4.10pm, July 15
- Ampol Foodery, Padstow, 3.45-4pm, July 6
- Free Choice Fairfield Forum, Fairfield, 9am-4pm, July 17
- Sections of the 702 bus route in Seven Hills on the afternoon of July 12
On Monday, it was revealed a woman aged in her 50s had died in south-west Sydney. She is the youngest Australian coronavirus victim since August 2020.
The Green Valley woman, whose body was found in her home on Monday morning, is the fifth person to die of COVID-19 in Sydney’s current outbreak.
It’s been confirmed she is the mother of removalists Ramsin and Roni Shawka, who allegedly breached health orders.
The twin brothers were charged with breaching public health orders after it was alleged were alerted by NSW Health on Friday informing them that one of them had tested positive for the virus, but continued on to the country town of Molong to finish their delivery.
The men left West Hoxton on Friday and stopped in regional NSW, including South Bowenfels and Orange. Police allege they continued to Molong despite knowing about the positive test results.
Their mother’s death underscores the danger of the Delta variant and is a grim reminder of the danger of families mixing and people moving around while infectious.
NSW had 98 new local cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, maintaining a three-day average in the high 90s.
“We will not see the effect of the harsh restrictions for another four or five days,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
“I know they are there to be had if all of us stick together and work hard.”