News Coronavirus Victoria’s state of emergency extended as coronavirus clusters worsen

Victoria’s state of emergency extended as coronavirus clusters worsen

So far 20 students from Holy Eucharist Primary, in Melbourne's west, are in isolation after a child tested positive. Photo: ABC/Nichole Asher
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More than 509,000 Victorians have been tested for coronavirus as the Health Minister announces the state of emergency has been extended by three weeks until June 21.

The number of people infected with coronavirus linked to a cluster in Keilor Downs, in Melbourne’s west, has risen by two overnight.

It takes the total number of people linked to the family cluster to 13.

The two cases are from the original household and have been in self-isolation for the past two weeks.

One additional case has been linked to the outbreak at Rydges on Swanston, bringing the total cases linked to the hotel to seven.

There was a net increase of four cases identified taking the total number of confirmed cases to 1649.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said the state of emergency, which will now expire at 11.59pm on June 21, was extended to give the Chief Health Officer the powers needed to enforce new restrictions that come into effect on Monday.

There are now seven cases linked to staff at the Rydges on Swanston.

“It’ll mean the legal directions we’ve had in operation will be issued from tomorrow to give effect to regulations relating to mass gatherings and the changes that will allow for example up to 20 people to be in a gathering in a private home,” she said.

“It’s really important that Victorians understand this pandemic is not over.

“The virus is still with us. It is highly contagious. It’s important that we take it seriously.”

From tomorrow up to 20 people will be allowed to gather at homes. That rule will also apply to indoor and outdoor gatherings in public spaces.

Beauty, tanning and nail salons will be allowed to reopen as will public playgrounds and outdoor gyms.

Restaurants and cafes can open for up to 20 patrons, subject to physical-distancing rules.

Keilor Downs cluster sends more students into self-isolation

A student from St Albans Secondary College has tested positive for COVID-19 after coming into close contact with a student from Keilor Downs College

Eighty students who attend Keilor Downs Secondary College and St Albans Secondary College are now self-isolating.

Students from the schools attended a VET class together last week.

According to internal emails seen by the ABC, St Albans Secondary College does not need to close.

Another 20 students from Holy Eucharist Primary School are also in self-isolation after a student, who was a close contact with someone in the Keilor Downs cluster, tested positive.

On Saturday, Victoria Police shut down popular state parks including the 1000 steps walking track and the Redwood Forest at Warburton, after it was determined too many people were not adhering to physical distancing protocols.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaleise van Dieman said it was disappointing the parks had to close.

“If you get somewhere and there’s a lot of people choose an alternate location and avoid crowding,” she said.

Ms Mikakos also warned Victoria Police would continue to issue fines if breaches of the new restrictions occurred.

“We don’t want to see people being fined, we want everyone to embrace these legal directions.”