— Health

Another aged care worker, three children among nine new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in Victoria

Four of Victoria’s new COVID-19 cases are of the highly infectious Delta variant.

Health Minister Martin Foley on Monday confirmed four of the state’s 11 new cases were linked to the state’s outbreak of the Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, which began in the suburb of West Melbourne.

The cases are three children and an adult. It brings the total number of patients in the outbreak to 14.

Four of the new cases are linked to the city’s outbreak of the Kappa or B.1.617.1 variant, which began in the City of Whittlesea and has spread to several locations across Melbourne, including Port Melbourne.

The outbreak now totals 33 active cases in Whittlesea and 31 in Port Melbourne.

The remaining three cases are linked to an outbreak of the Kappa variant at the Arcare Maidstone aged care facility in Melbourne’s northwest, two of which were announced on Sunday.

The additional case is an aged care worker.

State testing commander Jeroen Weimar said more than 5800 people were quarantined after coming into contact with a positive case, while there were 350 exposure sites across Victoria.


He said about 1000 people had ended quarantine following a gloomy day 13 test.

Authorities still don’t know how the Delta variant has spread in Melbourne.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said authorities were combing through genomic sequencing data nationwide for answers. The virus is suspected of having leaked from hotel quarantine or from a returned traveler who was provided with an exemption to isolate at home.

Among those allowed to quarantine at home are foreign diplomats.

Professor Sutton asked if a diplomat may have spread the virus, “We simply don’t know. I wouldn’t rule anything in or out. “We are checking against everyone tested, and diplomats should also be tested.” Professor Sutton said about ten people had received an exemption to quarantine at home in Victoria since the beginning of April. He said with no new exposure sites linked to the 11 new cases, Melbourne’s lockdown was on track to end at 11.59 pm on Thursday.

But Professor Sutton ruled out a return to the relaxed restrictions before the outbreak.

“It is certainly not a snap-back to large gatherings and a full MCG,” he said. “It’s not something I can speak to now. It’s still early days. It’s frustrating; people want to know what things will look like in three days.

“(But) we see different changes daily, and they can be something from left field.

Some 24,265 Victorians were tested on Sunday, and 17,719 received a vaccine dose at state-run sites.

On Sunday, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced an additional 100,000 vaccines were being made available for Victoria. The federal government has also suspended JobSeeker mutual obligation requirements until 15 June. Meanwhile, the state government has announced a $30 million package of food and support payments for communities disproportionately affected by the latest lockdown.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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