Mystery infection fears in Victoria

Zero coronavirus cases in last 24 hours

While concerned and seriously racing to track down the source of a Melbourne man’s mystery infection, Victoria has recorded zero cases of coronavirus overnight, which is welcome news and something everyone in Victoria wants to hear.

Thanks to law abiding Victorians who want to keep our state COVID free and open, more than 32,000 of them got tested in the past 24 hours.

After having gone through some of the toughest restrictions in the world and earned more than two months of no new COVID-19 cases, there are 38 active cases in Victoria as of January 7 and the authorities are taking every bit of it seriously.

Such is the gravity of it all, officials are urging anyone who attended specific exposure sites listed on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website to get tested immediately.

The urgency comes as a man in his 30s tested positive to COVID-19 after attending the Boxing Day sales at Chadstone Shopping Centre and the cricket at the MCG on December 27.

After the mystery man visited many stores at the shopping centre between 6am and 2pm, all those stores have been put on high alert the centre.

The stores have been listed on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website as potential acquisition sites, including Culture Kings, Huffer, JD Sports, Jay Jays, H&M, Uniqlo, Myer, Superdry, Footlocker and Dumplings Plus.

The state health authorities have been tracking the man’s phone movements around Chadstone.

“We’re particularly interested in those who went to those stores on Boxing Day and who did not feel well — please come forward to get tested,” Victoria’s COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar said yesterday.

“We will be identifying the time zones that the individual was in these stores.”

The DHHS website is asking anyone who attended the locations during the times identified to immediately get tested and self-quarantine until they receive a negative result,.

The good news is that the man and his close contacts are all doing the right thing and are self-isolating. The main concern for authorities is to track down the source of the virus.

“We are trying to identify, a needle in a haystack exercise, of who might be positive,” Mr Weimar said.

Making things difficult is the fact that the man is not believed to have been carrying the virus when he attended the cricket and Chadstone, however health officials believe he may have acquired the virus at the sites. That means someone else had been infected and came in contact with this man at one of those places he visited. And that mystery person is still out there, perhaps unbeknown to him/her of their infected status.

2400 people were inside Zone 5 where the man was seated and up to 30,000 spectators were at the MCG for Day Two of the Boxing Day Test on December 27 when he attended the gam and providing Victoria with this mystery infection case to grapple with.

According to the state authorities, people who sat within the Zone 5 on the relevant day and time, have been informed advising them of this confirmed case. All of them have been requested to get tested.

“We’re encouraging anyone who was at the cricket and who was seated in the Great Southern Stand, Zone 5, between 12.30pm and 3.30pm to go and get tested and isolate until they receive a result,” Acting Premier Jacinta Allan said.

The man developed symptoms on December 30 and stayed home from December 31 before getting tested.

The health department was notified of his positive test result on January 5 generating mystery infection fears in Victoria.

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