News Coronavirus Six cases as Vic lockdown begins, Qld reports 10 more

Six cases as Vic lockdown begins, Qld reports 10 more

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Victoria has recorded four new locally acquired coronavirus cases on the first day of its sixth lockdown.

The health department confirmed the state recorded six cases in the 24 hours to Friday morning.

Two had already been reported by authorities on Thursday.

All six cases are linked to previously reported infections of the Delta variant and have been in the community while infectious.

State Health Minister Martin Foley said the Victoria was “in a precarious position” as it began a seven-day shutdown – with more than 10,000 people already in isolation across the state.

“The Victorian community knows what to do. We’ve been here before, we’ve driven down this Delta variant, we can do it again,” he said.

There was better news in Queensland, which reported another 10 local COVID infections on Friday.

All are household contacts of existing infections in the Indooroopilly cluster, bringing the Brisbane Delta outbreak to 89 infections. Only two had spent even limited time in the community while infectious.

Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young was optimistic the lockdown of 11 south-east Queensland local government areas would lift on Sunday as planned, as long as Queenslanders kept following the rules.

“But if we don’t do all those things that will make it really difficult to lift Sunday and then, going forward, we are going to have to be incredibly cautious,” she said.

Back in Victoria, one of Friday’s new cases is a year 6 student at Heathdale Christian College in Werribee, in Melbourne’s west.

“Due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the Werribee campus in year 6, both campuses are closed until further notice,” the school posted on Facebook late on Thursday.

“Due to cross-campus contact, anyone who was on either campus on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday this week must self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19.”

Another is a cleaner at a private hospital in Melbourne.

“We have been advised that a contractor, who cleans parts of the Epworth Medical Centre, has tested positive for COVID-19. This contractor cleans several floors within the centre, after business hours,” Epworth HealthCare group chief executive Dr Lachlan Henderson said on Friday.

He is a household contact of a Maribyrnong man whose mystery infection was confirmed on Thursday.

The two other new cases are both family members of one of the earlier infections. They live in Wyndham Vale, in Melbourne’s outer-west, and one is associated with Warringah Park special school in Hoppers Crossing.

“Victoria is in a precarious position when it comes to where this particular series of outbreaks are at the moment,” Mr Foley said.

“We have many lines of inquiry actively underway as to where these new cases have been. And what further exposure sites will continue to become apparent as they come to hand.”

  • See all of Victoria’s exposure sites here

Victorian testing commander Jeroen Weimar said he expected exposure sites to be listed across Melbourne and regional Victoria in coming days.

“As such, it is just so important at this time for people to go and get tested,” he said.

Some 29,631 virus test results were processed on Thursday and 18,901 Victorians were vaccinated.

Victorians who will lose pay if they cannot work due to a COVID test are eligible for a $450 payment. Anyone in the same circumstances who must isolate can apply for a $1500 payment.

“I anyone on the list needs support, who needs welfare or a bit of help, please get in touch with us. We’ll do everything we can to ensure you can isolate safely and effectively,” Mr Weimar said.

Victoria’s sixth lockdown began at 8pm on Thursday. The same rules that applied during July’s shutdown have returned, including the five reasons to leave home, the five-kilometre travel limit for exercise and shopping and compulsory masks indoors and outdoors.

Victoria unveiled a $400 million business support package on Friday. Its costs will be shared with the federal government.

Grants of $2800 will be available to about 95,000 businesses, including gyms, cafes, restaurants, caterers, hairdressers, event and tourism businesses. There is also a top-up of the licensed venue hospitality fund, and grants of up to $8000 for small businesses doing it particularly tough.

The state government is waiting on a Commonwealth hotspot declaration for COVID disaster relief to become available for workers who will lose work during the latest lockdown.

Elsewhere, 15 protesters were arrested after they rallied against the lockdown in Melbourne’s CBD overnight.

-with AAP