Covid Australia live news: Gladys Berejiklian provides update as NSW records 89 cases and one death; three cases in Victoria | Australia news
The removalists are not the only Covid risk in Victoria.
Three members of a family who moved from Sydney to Melbourne, in the City of Hume, have tested positive to Covid.
The family of four moved to Melbourne last week under a red zone permit. Covid testing commander Jeroen Weimar thanked them for broadly complying with the red zone permit and getting tested as soon as they had symptoms.
Two exposure sites are linked to this family — the Coles at Craigieburn Central on Saturday, 10 July, and petrol station in Broadmeadows on Sunday 11 July. Fifty-two people who had checked into either location at the exposure time were texted by the health department last night and told to isolate for 14 days.
In total there are 300 primary close contacts in isolation in Victoria.
The red zone permit requires total isolation — so no grocery shopping. But Weimar said they would not be penalised because they have “done the core principles of what we need them to do”.
“They have got tested when they needed to get tested and they have been transparent with us,” he said. “We’re not going to pursue any further enforcement activity with them, they’ve done the right thing and we’re very grateful.”
There are currently 9,410 people in Victoria on red zone permits who are required to isolate for 14 days. Authorities checked on 269 permit holders yesterday and found two people “deliberately not isolating,” who have been referred to police.
Weimar said he knew that requiring people to isolate for 14 days was “a difficult ask”.
“if people are really struggling with the isolation then please do contact us for support. Do not breach the conditions of the isolation.”
Victorian health authorities are investigating potential breaches of work permits by a removalist crew who travelled from Sydney to Melbourne to Adelaide last week, before being called back to Sydney by a NSW health alert.
They were operating under a work permit and national freight guidelines.
“There was a permit in place and the permit has very clear obligations in it,” Victoria’s Covid response commander Jeroen Weimar said.
What we need people to do though is to comply with the obligations of those permits, which includes that you are in virtual isolation when you’re in Victoria, you need to wear a mask, you need to be socially distant, you need to stay in your cab at all times, and you’re not doing five hours of removalist work in an apartment building. So we’re concerned about that and that is part of the conversation we’re having.
The removalists arrived in Craigieburn at 9.30am on Thursday 8 July to drop off some furniture before going to the Ariele apartment complex in Maribyrnong, where they spent about half a day picking up furniture.
The delivery in Craigieburn was made to a family of five, all of whom have since tested negative and are in isolation for 14 days.
All 78 units — and an estimated 100 to 150 residents — of Ariele apartments were put into 14 days lockdown last night. The man who had direct contact with the removalists at that address has tested negative, and a dedicated testing lane has been set up at the Melbourne Showgrounds to test all other residents.
The removalists then left Melbourne, stopping at a service station on the Western Freeway at Ballan for two hours to eat dinner and shower before heading to South Australia. They returned to NSW on 9 July after one of the crew was notified by NSW Health that they were a close contact of another case. Two crew members have now tested positive and the third is showing symptoms.
Weimar said there had been multiple contact tracing interviews with all three removalists and their employer but “the sense of clarity is not emerging as quickly as I would like”.
They are not being as forthcoming or their recollection is not as accurate as I would like it to be.
I think they’re being honest. I think it’s clearly a challenging situation for them as individuals.
He also said the company was not being forthcoming, but declined to name it publicly.
We want them to be open and forthcoming with us. With all due respect to the members of the fourth estate I think having them descend on them is not going to help.