MCG cluster grows as new COVID CASE reported from AFL game while Ariele apartments infections now number six
Victoria has announced two more COVID cases at an afternoon press conference as the state goes into a snap lockdown from midnight Thursday.
One of the freshly announced cases is linked to the MCG cluster after an infected case attended the Carlton-Geelong game last Saturday.
Two other cases linked to the AFL match were announced earlier on Thursday.
“That now makes three new cases at the MCG that we are reporting on today in total,” Victoria COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Weimar said the cases appear to be linked to an infectious Maribyrnong man who attended the match and was seated in the MCC member’s reserve on level 2.
But he said the duo were not known contacts of the infected man and it appeared to be a case of “stranger-to-stranger transmission”.
“They were sitting in very different parts of the ground,” Weimar said.
“There’s no obvious relationship between them. The interviews and discussions are ongoing.”
The other new case is a personal contact of a positive case in the Ariele Apartment cluster.
“They do not live in the Ariele Apartments but it is a personal close contact of that individual,” Weimar said.
“They are now in quarantine and are well.”
There are now at least six cases associated with the Ariele apartments in Maribyrnong, with 680 personal contacts for those six cases.
Of the 131 residents of that complex, 104 have returned negative test results, Weimar said.
There are now a total of 18 active community cases in Melbourne.
Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed Victoria’s lockdown will begin at 11.59pm on Thursday.
People will only able to leave home for five reasons – to shop for food and essential items, provide or receive care, exercise, work or study if they are unable to from home, and to get vaccinated.
Masks will be compulsory indoors and outdoors.
All non-essential retail will close but essential stores like supermarkets, bottle shops and pharmacies will remain open.
Cafes and restaurants will only be able to offer takeaway.
Childcare and kindergarten will stay open but schools will close, except for a small cohort of students.
The lockdown will end at 11:59pm on Tuesday, though regional Victoria will be able to reopen earlier if it is safe to do so.
‘Hard and fast’
Andrews said the state had only one chance to go “hard and fast” to defeat the highly infectious Delta variant.
“I am not prepared to avoid a five-day lockdown now only to find ourselves in a five-week or a five-month lockdown,” he told reporters.
It is the fifth lockdown for Victoria since the start of the pandemic and the third in 2021.
– with AAP