The community transmission of coronavirus has risen again in Victoria, with a third Black Lives Matter protester and a young child who attended a childcare centre while infectious among 18 new cases diagnosed overnight.
It takes the total number of people who have tested positive to the virus in Victoria to 1, 780.
Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen confirmed eight of the new cases were detected through routine testing of symptomatic people in the community, one is linked to a known outbreak and six were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
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Three other cases are still under investigation.
“In the eight new cases detected through community testing, we have one healthcare worker who works at a rehabilitation facility in Glenwaverly and we have had one further case who attended the Black Lives Matter protest,” Ms van Diemen said.
“This case was not infectious at the protest… It is possible that they acquired their illness at the protest, however they were wearing a mask and did attend other locations during their acquisition period so it will probably be impossible to tell where they acquired their infection.”
It’s been revealed the protester, a man in his 20s, also worked two shifts at H&M at Northland Shopping Centre while infectious.
The retail store has been closed today as it undergoes a deep clean, while “a number of contacts are being quarantined”.
Ms van Diemen confirmed a “very young child” who attended a childcare facility in South Yarra and a staff member who attended a childcare facility in Pakenham, both while infectious, are among today’s “major cases of note”.
She confirmed both centres have been closed while contact tracing and cleaning actions are undertaken.
It comes after the state recorded it’s biggest single-day increase in coronavirus cases in over a month on Wednesday, with 21 people diagnosed.
Fifteen of the 21 cases were returned overseas travellers.
“Day’s like yesterday and today do make us nervous, however we would still always rather be finding every case in the community,” Ms van Diemen said.
Despite the spike, Victoria is expected to go ahead with the further easing of coronavirus restrictions from Monday.
“In terms of the restrictions being wound back on Monday, the Premier has flagged what is on the cards for Monday in order for businesses to be able to prepare,” Ms van Diemen said.
“What he did also flag is that it is all dependant on how case numbers go, how community transmission goes .. and we are constantly reviewing that.
“The plan is to continue to ease those restrictions on Monday, but a lot can happen in 5 days as we really saw in march when case numbers started to climb significantly.
“We would hope we are not on the trajectory, but we don’t want to take any chances and if it does continue to climb, we will be taking all of that into account when we decide whether or not to ease further on Monday.”