News Coronavirus Eleven new COVID cases in Victoria

Eleven new COVID cases in Victoria

victoria lockdown end
Melbourne's CBD remains a ghost town as Victorians wonder when their latest lockdown will end. Photo: Getty
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Victoria has recorded 11 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, with health officials saying all are linked to previously reported cases although they were not in quarantine while infectious.

The state administered 17,360 vaccine doses in the 24 hours to Saturday evening and conducted 38,179 tests.

With 29 cases recorded on Saturday, there was concern Victoria would be forced to extend its current week-long lockdown beyond Thursday.

However Premier Daniel Andrews said on Saturday it was still too soon to tell.

Meanwhile, he is expected to announce details as soon as Sunday on when Victoria can expect an “additional” 150,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine promised by the federal government.

Mr Andrews says he’s “very pleased” by the agreement, struck with Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday evening. It’s understood the extra supplies have been reallocated from a delivery originally scheduled for dispatch next month.

Health Officials said Saturday’s tally of cases also were linked to current outbreaks but not in quarantine while infectious.

It was also revealed the state’s Delta variant outbreak had spread to a public housing tower in the Melbourne suburb of Flemington previously placed under strict lockdown in early July 2020.

It’s “a certainty that there are more cases out there”, Mr Andrews said.

“We have mystery cases, at least two.

“We don’t know where they are, who they’ve given it to, and everyone is at risk.”

As of Friday, more than 10,000 close contacts of positive cases in the state were isolating, with 82 venues listed as exposure sites.

Among them is the residential tower at 130 Racecourse Road, Flemington, which has been identified as a tier two location between August 3-6.

Lockdown extension?

COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said on Saturday eight cases were in a single family within the building, who were in quarantine.

“All other residents of the building, we will also provide additional testing capacity for,” he said.

Other residents of the building on separate floors will progressively be asked to get tested over the weekend.

State ombudsman Deborah Glass determined a decision to place nine public housing towers in North Melbourne and Flemington into immediate hard lockdown on July 4 to be a human rights violation.

Other tier one sites listed by authorities included a medical centre and a pathology collection centre, both in Caroline Springs.

Several schools were also added on Friday evening as tier two sites, including Heathdale Christian College in Werribee and Warringa Park School in Hoppers Crossing, after positive cases were found in students.

Al-Taqwa College, the centre of an outbreak during Victoria’s second wave, has also reported several cases.

The growth of the current outbreak aside, Mr Andrews said it was still too soon to tell whether the state’s week-long lockdown could be lifted on Thursday.

However, citing government sources, Melbourne’s Herald Sun says hopes are fading fast that it will be.

The paper says fears are mounting that contact tracers will be unable to identify and connect all cases in the community in time for the lockdown to end as planned.

Mr Andrews said on Saturday the escalation in cases meant getting tested was now “absolutely critical”.

“It is non-negotiable, cannot wait one hour, cannot wait one afternoon,” he said.