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Longer lockdown likely as alert raised over positive case who visited NSW

Victoria’s lockdown is expected to continue beyond its original Thursday deadline, government sources have indicated, as authorities reveal a positive Melbourne case travelled to NSW while potentially infectious.

Senior government ministers met last night to receive a high-level briefing from health authorities about extending the stay-at-home orders in an attempt to combat an outbreak in which one in 10 positive cases have caught the virus from a stranger.

Melbourne in the middle of its fourth lockdown on June 1.Credit:Eddie Jim

Meanwhile, NSW Health issued a public health alert on Tuesday evening, saying it had been advised by Victoria’s Department of Health that a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 was in Jervis Bay, Goulburn, Hyams Beach and Vincentia while potentially infectious on May 23 and May 24.

The person drove back to Melbourne on May 24, reported the onset of symptoms on May 25 and tested positive for COVID-19 on May 31.

The alert was issued as six more sites were added to Victoria’s official exposure site list, taking the total to 351, including three BP truck stops along the Hume Freeway at Glenrowan, Euroa and Wallan on May 24.

Earlier a source close to the government, speaking on the condition of anonymity because a final decision had not yet been made, said Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton’s team was leaning strongly toward recommending a lockdown extension. A final call will be made today.

Read more here.

Another Melbourne primary school closed

Another Melbourne primary school has been closed during Victoria’s lockdown.

North Melbourne Primary School, located near Royal Park in Melbourne’s inner north, has shut its doors to all students.

The Department of Education listed the primary school on its website under the section “closures, remote learning and relocations” last night, along with dozens of early childhood services and before/after school programs.

We have sought comment from the Department of Education as to why it has been closed.

Mercy College in Coburg, in Melbourne’s north, remains closed after a student tested positive for coronavirus.

Buildings 56 and 57 at RMIT in Carlton and the La Trobe University Library are also closed.

All Victorian schools have moved to a period of remote learning from Monday May 31 to Thursday June 3 inclusive following an order from Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.

However, schools remain open for vulnerable students and the children of essential workers.

CBD Officeworks, Coles and regional BP servos added to exposure sites list last night

As my colleague Rachael Dexter reported late last night, the list of Victorian exposure sites just keeps growing. At least 10 new exposure sites were uploaded to the Victorian Department of Health’s website from about 8pm yesterday.

Three different BP service stations were labelled either tier 1 or tier 2 exposure sites on May 24 at Euroa, Glenrowan and Wallan while in Melbourne’s CBD, GTA Consultants on Collins Street, Coles Spencer Street, Officeworks on Russell Street and the male public toilets on Bourke Street were listed as either tier 1 or tier 2 on various days last week.

The Victorian Health Department also extended the warning of potential “stranger to stranger” transmission sites to 10 different shopping centres, food markets or entire shopping streets across the city.

The official Chief Health Officer’s report, which usually lands in our inboxes mid to late afternoon, had this advice yesterday afternoon:

Anyone who has visited the following locations over past 1-2 weeks is urged to get tested if they show any symptoms:

• Craigieburn Central

• Bay and Graham Streets, Port Melbourne

• Clarendon St and South Melbourne Market, South Melbourne

• Pacific Epping (aka Epping Plaza) and Epping North Shopping Centre

• High St, Epping

• Station St, Lalor

• Broadway, Reservoir

• Footscray Market

• Dandenong Market

• Sanctuary Lakes Shopping Centre and Stockland Point Cook

The full list is over 350 now, so keep checking it regularly.

‘Anxiety is palpable’: New aged care residents overlooked for vaccines

Doctors working in aged care say elderly residents moving into Victorian nursing homes are not being immunised against coronavirus.

The GPs have accused the federal government of abandoning its promise to have all staff and residents in aged care homes overseen by the Commonwealth vaccinated against COVID-19.

Peta Soorkia’s mother, Mary Delilah Barkshire, is in Arcare Maidstone.

And the medics say vials of Pfizer, which must be stored in refrigerators, have at times been dropped off outside aged care homes with no medical teams available to administer doses.

Melbourne’s growing coronavirus outbreak has now infected two aged care workers and a 99-year-old resident, and has again exposed a failure to fully protect people in aged care, despite federal government assurances all residents and workers in the sector would be vaccinated by April.

Four coronavirus infections have been traced back to two aged care homes – Arcare Maidstone and BlueCross Western Gardens – as health authorities desperately work to prevent further spread among staff and residents.

Eastern suburbs GP Sarah Hume, who works at several aged care homes across Melbourne, knows of at least 10 elderly residents who recently moved into aged care and have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Other residents who were in hospital or unwell at the time vaccinations were administered at their homes in May have also been left un-immunised.

“We could see this coming from a mile away,” Dr Hume said. “In the last little while we have had a huge influx of people moving into aged care homes.

Read more here.

Longer lockdown likely as alert raised over positive case who visited NSW

Victoria’s lockdown is expected to continue beyond its original Thursday deadline, government sources have indicated, as authorities reveal a positive Melbourne case travelled to NSW while potentially infectious.

Senior government ministers met last night to receive a high-level briefing from health authorities about extending the stay-at-home orders in an attempt to combat an outbreak in which one in 10 positive cases have caught the virus from a stranger.

Melbourne in the middle of its fourth lockdown on June 1.Credit:Eddie Jim

Meanwhile, NSW Health issued a public health alert on Tuesday evening, saying it had been advised by Victoria’s Department of Health that a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 was in Jervis Bay, Goulburn, Hyams Beach and Vincentia while potentially infectious on May 23 and May 24.

The person drove back to Melbourne on May 24, reported the onset of symptoms on May 25 and tested positive for COVID-19 on May 31.

The alert was issued as six more sites were added to Victoria’s official exposure site list, taking the total to 351, including three BP truck stops along the Hume Freeway at Glenrowan, Euroa and Wallan on May 24.

Earlier a source close to the government, speaking on the condition of anonymity because a final decision had not yet been made, said Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton’s team was leaning strongly toward recommending a lockdown extension. A final call will be made today.

Read more here.

Good morning

Good morning, Victoria. The state government held a late-night cabinet meeting last night, and sadly, it sounds like we’re staring down the barrel of an extended lockdown. Sigh.

But I’m choosing to look at the silver linings: my commute is three steps to the next room, the snack cupboard is oh-so-dangerously close and no one can accuse me of being anti-social for curling up on the couch in the evening!

As we have done over much of the past year-and-a-bit, we’ll bring you all the latest news in our free coronavirus blog throughout the day.

And as always, please keep an eye on the growing list of exposure sites on the Victorian coronavirus website, and if you have any symptoms – a fever, a sore throat, a cough – you can find a list of testing sites here.

Stay safe and look after each other. We’ll be here all day.

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