Four more coronavirus cases have been linked to the Chadstone Butcher Club outbreak in Melbourne’s south-east, taking the total to 24 in the largest Victorian cluster outside of aged care.
- One new coronavirus case in Shepparton is not a “definite positive” and is being retested, the Chief Health Officer says
- The State Government has announced Year 7 students will be able to return to face-to-face learning from October 12
- Today is the first time since September 15 Victoria hasn’t recorded any deaths in a 24-hour period
The state recorded nine new cases of coronavirus overnight, but no deaths were been reported in the past 24 hours.
Melbourne’s 14-day rolling case average is now 11.6, down from 11.9 yesterday.
Regional Victoria’s average has risen slightly from 0.2 yesterday to 0.3 today, one day after a case linked to the Chadstone shopping centre outbreak was recorded in the Mitchell Shire, north of Melbourne.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said there were now nine household contacts, seven staff members and three customers linked to the Butcher Club outbreak.
He said he did not know how exactly the virus spread to customers, but noted “there were infectious staff”.
“The interactions probably would have been less than what we would call a close contact for customers,” he said.
“But again, you can get individuals who are very infectious.
“And you can be unlucky with that interaction and that’s why the callout has been to everyone who was there at that time.”
Meeting mystery case target could be a ‘lineball’, says Sutton
In Melbourne, the total number of mystery cases with an unknown source recorded in the latest 14-day period — September 19 to October 2 — remains at 13.
Public health officials will assess whether Melbourne can move to the next step of the Victoria’s roadmap out restrictions on October 19, when the state records a 14-day average below five, and fewer than five mystery cases over two weeks.
When asked if he thought Victoria would meet those targets, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said: “My gut feeling is it will be a lineball. It’s not certain one way or the other.”
However, Professor Sutton said moving to the next step would not be ruled out if there were more than five mystery cases in the fortnight leading to October 19.
“We’d have to see exactly where we were at at that time, including the trend,” he said.
New case in regional Victoria not a ‘definite positive’
One new case was recorded in the Shepparton local government area overnight, taking the total number of active coronavirus cases in regional Victoria to four.
But Professor Sutton said the Shepparton case was being re-tested, as it was a not a “definite positive”.
“The result has a high CT value. A high CT value can sometimes mean like a weak positive,” he said.
“So we’re treating it as a positive. It may end up being a negative. But we’re working through that process.”
Some close contacts of the Shepparton case had tested negative to COVID-19, but there were others with test results still pending, Professor Sutton said.
Year 7 students to return to face-to-face learning
Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 are due to return to face-to-face learning from October 26.
All primary school students, VCE and VCAL students, and children at special schools, were already due back next week.
“We have this two-week period to monitor the impact both for the return of those [Year 7] students, the increased movement of people, as well as all of the strategies in place at a school level,” Education Minister James Merlino said today.
CBD party and a trip to buy rice among reasons for fines overnight
Victoria Police has issued 125 fines for breaching coronavirus restrictions in the past day, including 13 for failing to wear a face mask in public.
Ten men having a party at a short-term rental in the CBD were among those who were fined.
Police also fined a man who said he was heading into the city to buy rice when he was stopped on a train more than 5 kilometres from home.
Two men who told police they were helping repair the brakes on their friends’ car, more than 5km from their homes, were also fined.
More to come.