Victoria has recorded one new coronavirus case and another two in hotel quarantine as more than 37,000 people were tested.
Victoria has recorded one new coronavirus case and another two in hotel quarantine as more than 37,000 people were tested.

Victoria, Queensland, NSW have new cases

Thousands of people are being urged to get tested in Melbourne after a new mystery case may have picked up his infection from either the MCG or stores in the Chadstone Shopping Centre.  

Infectious disease physician Allen Cheng said a 30-year-old man - whose infection can't be linked to another case or a high risk location - attended day two of the Melbourne Test on December 27.

He was not infectious when he attended, however the MCG is being investigated as a potential source for the infection.

He also attended stores in the Chadstone Shopping Centre - on December 26 between 6am-2pm - which are being treated as potential acquisition sites for the infection.

The stores include: Culture Kings, Huffer, JD Sports, Jay Jays, H&M, Uniqlo, Myer, Superdry, Footlocker and Dumplings Plus.

Victoria's coronavirus testing commander Jeroen Weimar says 8000 people were in Zone 5 - where the case was seated - at the MCG, and "there'll be many thousands of people who've been through Chadstone".

He is urged Victorians potentially affected by the outbreak to stay away from the busy shopping centre.Meanwhile, anyone who spent time in the MCG's Great Southern Stand Zone 5 between 12:30pm and 3:30pm is urged to isolate and get tested as soon as possible.

Acting NSW Premier John Barilaro says a cluster in Sydney's west is set to grow in today's numbers - saying there will be "one or two more" connected to the Berala outbreak.

He said that the cluster - stemming from a bottle shop - carried "great risk" but he stopped short of formally restricting travel to the state's regions after a case from the outbreak travelled 900km through the state after becoming infected.

He said new case numbers from the Berala cluster were slowly increasing, compared to sharp spikes seen in the Avalon cluster, which meant western Sydney suburbs did not need to be put in lockdown.

"The Avalon cluster was a significant seeding event at the bowlo and the RSL club," he told Today. "We saw big numbers come through of infections.

"We haven't seen that at Berala, even though we are seeing each day a couple of cases and overnight I can confirm there are, again, one or two connected to that particular Berala outbreak. But, again, numbers looks OK."

Meanwhile, two owners of a cafe in Orange, NSW have described the "devastating" consequences of their venue's exposure to the coronavirus.

A slew of venues in NSW's west were hit with COVID-19 warnings yesterday after being visited by an 18-year-old who went on a camping trip across the state while unknowingly infected.

One of them was Birdie Noshery cafe, which is co-owned by Leah Morphett and Simonn Hawke. When the phone call from NSW Health came in on Tuesday morning, Ms Morphett answered.

"She beckoned me over, and I could see she was tearing up on the phone. I knew something was wrong," Ms Hawke told The Australian.

The cafe employs about 24 members of staff, half of whom have been "wiped out" for the next two weeks as they need to isolate.

Follow our live coverage below.

 

 

QUEENSLAND HAS ONE NEW CASE

Queensland has recorded one new coronavirus case overnight as Victoria goes on high alert after a man who attended day two of the cricket at the MCG tested positive to COVID-19.

Queensland's new coronavirus case was acquired overseas and detected in hotel quarantine. It takes the state's total to 18 active cases.

MCG attendee is a mystery case

Benjamin Graham

Infectious disease physician Allen Cheng says a 30-year-old man - whose infection can't be linked this to another case or a high risk location - attended day two of the Melbourne Test on December 27.

He was not infectious when he attended and is not linked to any other case or to the Black Rock Restaurant Outbreak. The MCG is being investigated as a potential source for the infection.

He also attended stores in the Chadstone Shopping Centre as potential acquisition sites for today's positive case.

"Based on the information available from the case, the man in his 30s, was not infectious while at the sites, but there is potential he acquired the virus while there," a DHHS spokesman said.

"The man developed symptoms on 30 December and the department was notified of his positive test on 5 January. Given he has not visited any high-risk Victorian exposure sites or travelled to New South Wales, a number of acquisition sources are being investigated.

"The man was present at the MCG on 27 December, the second day of the Boxing Day test and is currently isolating."

The DHHS says a number of close contacts have already been

Victoria case attended cricket at MCG

Benjamin Graham

One of the new cases in Victoria attended the cricket at the MCG - making it an outbreak site.

Anyone seated in the great southern stand at the MCG on December 27 - day two of the Boxing Day test - is being asked to get a test and go into isolation until they receive a negative result.

'So angry': Minister blasts $120 test charge

Benjamin Graham

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he is "angry" about a Sydney family being forced to pay for a COVID test.

Labor MP Lynda Voltz, a member for Auburn, said the family had been charged $120 when they couldn't produce a Medicare card.

"I've seen the receipt. This happened at a clinic that is advertised by NSW Health as a testing centre," Ms Voltz said in a statement.

"This is not the first instance nor the first clinic that has been brought to my attention by local residents who are being told they must pay for a test."

Mr Hazzard told 2GB this morning he is furious about what has happened - adding it was probably the result of a communication mix up.

"I must say, that I am so angry about it," he said. "I have already been on the phone to the deputy secretary of (NSW Health).

"These tests should never be charged. In the end, it should be absolutely free to the person who is helpfully coming forward to be tested."

Crew member tests positive to virus

Benjamin Graham

By Jack Paynter NCA NewsWire

A Qatar Airways flight has been forced to leave Melbourne without any passengers after a crew member tested positive for coronavirus.

The departing international crew member was required to return to hotel quarantine on Monday night when they received their positive result while preparing to depart Melbourne Airport on Monday.

Sydney lockdown crisis talks being held

Benjamin Graham

By Evin Priest, NCA NewsWire

Acting NSW Premier John Barilaro will hold crisis talks to discuss whether restrictions in the northern zone of Sydney's northern beaches should be lifted earlier than January 9.

Currently, a stay-at-home order is in place and northern zone residents can only leave the house for four reasons while outdoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of five people.

In addition, residents can only leave this area for essential reasons, including to buy food or access goods or services that are not available in the northern area of the Northern Beaches.

 

 

VICTORIA RECORDS ONE NEW COMMUNITY CASE

Victoria has recorded one new locally acquired cases of coronavirus on Wednesday as 37,509 of people were tested in the past 24 hours.

The Department of Health and Human Services also confirmed two new cases in returned international travellers.

There are 41 active cases of COVID-19 across the state, 28 of which are locally acquired cases.

It comes after three locally acquired cases were also recorded on Tuesday, all linked to the Black Rock outbreak.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said on Tuesday having all cases linked to the Black Rock cluster meant Victorians could be confident the outbreak was being well managed.

The DHHS said all of Victoria's locally acquired cases were linked to the Black Rock restaurant outbreak and were spread across 14 households.

She said delays at testing sites due to such a high demand over the past week had reduce to between 60 to 90 minutes on average.

"If I can encourage you to keep watch of those exposure sites, if you've been to one of those exposure sites during the times listed or if you have any symptoms, continue to go out and get tested," she said.

 

 

There are now more than 200 testing centres in operation across Victoria, including new testing sites in areas where large numbers of close contacts and exposure sites have been identified.

More than 1300 close contacts are being monitored across the state, including 900 primary close contacts and 400 secondary close contacts.

The DHHS said the close contacts were located in the local government areas of Bayside, Casey, Kingston, Monash, Whitehorse, Stonnington, Maroondah, Boroondara, Glen Eira, South Gippsland and East Gippsland.

jack.paynter@news.com.au

Originally published as Victoria records one new local case


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