Victoria has begun day two of its latest COVID-19 lockdown as health authorities race to keep up with “fleeting transmission” of the virus.
As of Friday morning there were 24 cases associated with the outbreak, which originated in NSW.
The highly infectious nature of the Delta variant of the virus was reflected in the 10 new cases added on Friday, more than half of whom were strangers to the person who gave it to them.
“Again we’re back in the world of very fleeting transmission,” COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar told reporters.
The latest cases include a man in his 20s from Point Cook, who attended an AFL match between Carlton and Geelong at the MCG on Saturday, and was seated in the MCC Members’ Reserve.
He is the fourth person to have contracted the virus from an Ariele Apartments resident, who attended the match with a friend from Barwon Heads.
The infected man unknowingly contracted the virus from a group of NSW removalists who had worked at the Maribyrnong apartment complex late last week.
He passed the virus on to his parents and his friend, a teacher at Bacchus Marsh Grammar.
Four men at the MCG who contracted the virus were not seated near the infected man, nor were they known to each other.
Mr Weimar said transmission most likely occurred when the infected man went to the bar or the toilet.
Another two new cases are linked to the Young and Jacksons pub in the CBD, which the infected man visited prior to the match.
The two cases – a Richmond man and a member of the defence force based at HMAS Cerberus – are strangers to the infected man and each other.
Bacchus Marsh Grammar has reported a total of four staff have tested positive, though this is yet to be confirmed by the health department and could be included in Saturday’s tally.
Deakin University tweeted on Friday afternoon about a positive test in a staff member from its Waurn Ponds campus, though the government is yet to confirm it.
The state is dealing with 134 exposure sites including the MCG and public transport, with 1500 primary close contacts and 5000 secondary contacts self-isolating.
The lockdown will run until at least Tuesday, and Premier Daniel Andrews has said he is certain Victorians will rise to the challenge as they have before.
Victorians who have lost work due to the lockdown will be eligible for weekly payments, jointly funded by the state and Commonwealth governments.
Some 90,000 businesses and sole traders that received support during the fourth lockdown last month will be automatically eligible for state government payments of $2000 or $3000.
The rules applied during last month’s lockdown were reimposed overnight, including the five reasons to leave home, a 5km travel limit for exercise and shopping, and compulsory mask-wearing indoors and outdoors.
All commercial furniture removalists have also been banned from entering Victoria for two weeks.
Transport workers travelling into Victoria from red zones will be required to get a COVID-19 test every three days instead of seven.
Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania have imposed barriers on travel from Victoria.
With the outbreak seemingly confined the Melbourne and Geelong regions, the Victorian opposition has questioned the government’s rationale for locking down far flung areas of the state.
Liberal leader Michael O’Brien on Friday called for more information on the reasons for the decision.
Victorian exposure sites are listed here: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites