Victoria’s contact tracers are scrambling to find potential infections from a mystery Covid-19 case discovered on Wednesday.
The positive case worked as a traffic controller at the Moonee Valley racecourse drive-through Covid-19 testing site in Moonee Ponds for two days while infectious.
The man, in his 20s, developed symptoms on Monday, was tested on Tuesday and returned a positive result on Wednesday morning.
Contact tracers have not been able to find out where the man caught the virus, or where it originated, but new exposure sites have emerged after the worker visited a popular shopping centre on Saturday July 24.
Chief health officer Professor Brett Sutton said while early interviews with the man were continuing on Wednesday, the key focus appeared to be where transmission occurred rather than the risks posed to the testing site.
Health officials are now working to establish if any recent positive cases were swabbed at the site.
Health Minister Martin Foley said while investigations into the case were in the very early stages, he believed the situation appeared to be “low-risk”.
Foley said he understood the “normal risk assessments” would be made, which would see testing site staff likely deemed as primary close contacts and forced to undergo 14 days’ quarantine.
“It’s a pretty big site. We don’t know if he acquired [the virus] there, but as an abundance of caution we’re certainly working on the basis that he did,” he explained.
Sutton said it remained unclear whether the new community case caught the virus from someone getting tested.
“There’s three days to investigate how he’s been out and about,” he said.
He urged people who turned out to get tested at the racecourse site to remain on the lookout for symptoms, especially if they opened their window to interact with people.
Lockdown ends, strict rules to stay
As Victorians woke to their first day out of lockdown yesterday, authorities warned restrictions would remain for “months” until most people had been vaccinated.
Figures show 40.48 per cent of Victorians 16 or older have had one Covid-19 shot, but just 16.98 per cent have had two.
On Wednesday, Sutton said the current restriction settings – while being reviewed daily – would remain for two weeks.
Those restrictions allow Victorians to leave their homes for any reason and travel more than 5km; restaurants, pubs and retailers can reopen and students can return to the classroom.
But masks remain mandatory indoors and outside, visitors to the home are banned and there will be no crowds at AFL matches or major theatre events for at least two weeks.
The “lockdown lite” restrictions will remain for a fortnight before any further easing is considered.
Despite the home visit ban, brothels and sexually explicit venues will be able to operate with up to 100 patrons.
Opposition spokesman Tim Smith said the rules were “proudly inconsistent”.
“Victorians will be able to visit a brothel but not their mum at home … The Andrews Labor government is really weird,” he said.
Victoria recorded eight community cases of Covid-19 yesterday, all linked to known outbreaks and each isolating throughout their infectious period.
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