MCG identified as possible exposure site after mystery COVID-19 case in Victoria

The MCG and a major shopping centre in Melbourne have been identified as possible coronavirus “acquisition” sites following a fresh mystery case of COVID-19 in Victoria.

There was just one locally acquired case detected in the state in the last 24 hours. There were two others cases detected in returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.

Health authorities have revealed the man attended day two of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG and developed symptoms three days later before testing positive yesterday.


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However, Acting Premier Jacinta Allan said authorities don’t believe the case was infectious while attending the event.

“Regarding the one new case in the numbers today, just earlier, the Department of Health and Human Services has listed the MCG as a potential acquisition site. This follows a patron attending the MCG testing positive,” Ms Allan said.

“This person attended day two of the cricket on 27 December and is currently isolating. It’s important to note from the health advice they do not believe the case was infectious while he was at the MCG.

“He developed symptoms on 30 December and the department was notified of the positive test result on 5 January.”

Anyone who attended the cricket and was seated in the Great Southern Stand, Zone 5, between 12:30pm and 3:30pm on December 27 is urged to get tested and isolate until they receive a result.

The Acting Premier said those seated in this zone will be receiving a text message in the next couple of hours, advising them of the situation.

Alerts have also been issued for a number of sites at the popular Chadstone Shopping Centre after the man attended the Boxing Day sales.

Authorities are desperate to test visitors who went to a number of stores between 6:00am and 2:00pm, who did not or do not feel well.

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 said contact tracers were tracking the man’s mobile phone movements around the centre.

“We will be identifying the time zones that the individual was in these stores during those time periods,” he said.

He estimates the two alerts will affect 7000 to 8000 fans who attended the Test and the “thousands” of people at the busy Chadstone Boxing Day sales.

Victoria’s infectious disease physician Allen Cheng said the department was being extra cautious in a bid to track down where the infection may have come from.

He said household links and those he visited “are probably more likely to be links but we’re trying to be cautious”.

“We do have this information about Chadstone and the MCG.

“So we’re trying to get that information out to make sure that we’re not missing anything and we want to make sure that we’re not waiting for, you know, other testing to come back and acting on this information that we have now.

“It also is possibly linked to someone coming down from New South Wales or it could be unrelated.

“I think we need to wait for some genomic data.

“It’s just one piece of the puzzle but we need to find that person who gave him the strain.”

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