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COVID-19 cluster in regional Victorian town of Shepparton balloons to 12 cases

By sbs , in News Australia , at August 20, 2021 Tags: , , ,

Australia news

A coronavirus outbreak in the regional Victorian town of Shepparton has grown again to 12 cases, all from the same family.

Thousands of people in the town and surrounding areas have been forced into isolation and several school campuses were closed after a man in his 30s tested positive on Friday morning.

The man has two children at St Mel’s Primary in Shepparton, which has been closed for deep cleaning.

He is isolating at home and his family has also been tested.

In an update on Friday afternoon, Goulburn Valley Health chief executive Matt Sharp said another 11 people have tested positive since the first case in Shepparton was identified.

“All people that have tested positive are family members from two separate households and are now isolating,” he said.

The cases will be included in Saturday’s numbers.

News of the outbreak came after the Premier Daniel Andrews refused to rule out a hard lockdown for regional Victoria.

Regional Victoria came out of lockdown on 10 August, though some rules including a ban on home visits and compulsory mask-wearing both indoors and outdoors remain.

Victoria officially reported 55 new local cases on Friday, 30 of which have been in the community while infectious.

Mr Andrews described it as a “bad day”.

He said government ministers and the public health team will meet on Friday afternoon to determine whether restrictions will need to be tightened further.

“It’s not just delicate, it’s not a tipping point, we are right on the edge of this getting away from us,” he told reporters.

“It’s not because contact tracing are not doing everything they can, they are, it’s not because we didn’t lock down fast enough, we did.

“It’s this Delta variant, it’s so wildly infectious it will find every breach of every rule and it will potentially spread because of that.”

He urged Melburnians to this weekend abide by lockdown restrictions, which include five reasons to leave home, a five-kilometre travel limit for exercise and shopping, a 9pm to 5am curfew and mandatory masks both indoors and outdoors.

Last week saw a spate of breaches including an organised takeaway pub crawl in Richmond and an engagement party in Caulfield North attended by 69 guests.

“I cannot be any clearer with the people of Melbourne and more broadly people of Victoria – if we have a weekend this weekend like last weekend, next week it will be like Sydney. Simple as that,” he said.

The health department on Friday confirmed 49 of the locally-acquired cases are linked to known outbreaks, while 25 were self-isolating throughout their infectious period.

Six cases cannot be linked to known outbreaks, which is of great concern to authorities.

Two overseas-acquired cases were also detected in hotel quarantine. 

With SBS News.

SBS is providing live translations of daily New South Wales and Victoria COVID-19 press conferences in various languages. Click here for more information.

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