A Shell Coles Express and a cafe on the NSW South Coast are among several exposure sites a Melbourne family visited while potentially infectious.
Already 243 people have been forced into isolation, with NSW facing a nervous wait to see if Victoria’s coronavirus outbreak has spread.
Hundreds of regional Victorians are anxiously waiting for results, too. If their coronavirus tests are clear, stay-at-home orders will be eased for everyone outside of Melbourne.
On Wednesday night, the state’s Premier Daniel Andrews – who is recovering from surgery and has not made a public statement since April – urged Victorians to “keep fighting”.
Also during the night, that state’s health authorities released details of where it’s possible the coronavirus has spread between strangers.
They included buses on route 357.
- There are more than 360 Victorian exposure sites. Click here to see the full list
‘We got a bit complacent’ in NSW
NSW’s health department also issued an alert urging residents across six regions who visited the eight venues listed to get tested and isolate immediately.
They are Goulburn’s Shell Coles Express Big Merino, The Coffee Pedaler in Gundagai, Jervis Bay’s Green Patch campground, 5 Little Pigs in Huskisson, the Huskisson Treasure Chest, Coles Vincentia Shopping Villag, the Gundagai Craft Centre and and the Junque and Disorderly Antique Shop in Gundagai.
The locations were visited by a Victorian man, his wife, and their two children who were on holiday near Jervis Bay in May. The whole family has since tested positive to COVID-19.
Health authorities are racing to determine if the family was infectious while there between May 19-24.
The man had symptoms on May 25 after driving back to Melbourne on May 24. He tested positive on Monday, nearly a week later.
Earlier on Wednesday, NSW Health confirmed that his wife and two children had also tested positive.
“If this gentleman was the source for those individuals, then they were not potentially infectious when they were in NSW, and clearly if the reverse is the case that may take back the exposure period,” chief health officer Kerry Chant said.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the scare was a reminder of the urgent need for people to get vaccinated, and for testing rates to remain high.
“We’ve seen more than 21,000 people come forward in the last 24 hours in NSW and get tested – that’s outstanding,” she said.
A Vincentia resident queueing at a pop-up testing clinic in Huskisson on the NSW south coast told 9News: “We thought we were pretty safe here in Vincentia, we just got a bit complacent.”
“I was complacent, I was worried about having the vaccine but now I regret not having it.”
Regional Victorians await decision
On Thursday, Victorian leaders are expected to make a final decision on whether to reopen the state’s regional areas.
The decision to ease “circuit-breaker” restrictions will hinge on whether there are any new cases in areas outside Melbourne.
COVID-19 has been detected in wastewater at Bendigo and Axedale, and there are exposure sites at Anglesea, Axedale, Glenrowan, Kalkallo, Wallan and Rye.
But none of the 60 cases linked to the current outbreak have come from regional Victoria.
The so-called “ring of steel”, used in 2020 to enforce the regional divide, will be replaced by roving police patrols.
Melbourne, however, will remain in lockdown until at least 11.59pm on June 10.
Daniel Andrews will be ‘back on deck later this month’
The Victorian Premier, who is recovering from a broken vertebra and fractured ribs, took to Facebook with messages of support, saying the efforts they are making to endure the current lockdown will save lives.
“Record tests, record vaccinations, record fight – we’re doing this to protect our communities, our state and the entire country,” Mr Andrews’ post read.
He said he had more scans and a meeting with his medical team next week.
“I’ll let you know how that goes and exactly when I’ll be back on deck later this month.”