Victorians will enter a sixth coronavirus lockdown – lockdown 6.0 – from tonight after the state recorded an additional two coronavirus cases on top of the six previously announced.
Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a week long snap lockdown 6.0 just as restrictions had began to ease from the lockdown 5.0. He said there was no alternative but for Victoria to re-enter a strict lockdown yet again for seven days.
“I would prefer that we didn’t have to make this decision now but my fear is… and the advice to me from the experts is if we were to wait even just a few days, there is every chance that instead of being locked down for a week this gets away from us, and we are potentially lockdown until we all get vaccinated,” Mr Andrews said.
The five reasons to leave home are back, schools will be closed and all the same rules Victorians have become well accustomed will be back in place from 8pm.
“The fact of the matter is, we have eight cases, six reported this morning and two cases on the board that would normally be reported tomorrow and only three of those can be linked to a known outbreak,” he said.
“The rest we have to assume what they appear to be, mystery cases where we don’t know how they got it, we don’t know who they have given it to all how many people they have given it to.”
The two new cases confirmed this afternoon will be included in tomorrow’s (Friday’s) numbers.
Victorian authorities were locked in meetings most of Thursday afternoon to discuss the growing outbreak. Earlier, Mr Andrews refused to confirm if there might be a sixth lockdown, less than two weeks after Victorian emerged from its fifth.
“There will be a series of meetings this afternoon, as there was this morning,” he said at parliament.
“What I can indicate obviously is that the government’s priority is to avoid what’s going on in Sydney”, Premier Andrews said.
NSW recorded 262 more local virus cases today with 5 more deaths. This figure of 262 is highest daily number so far in its current outbreak. The additional 5 deaths have taken the death toll from the current outbreak to 22.
“There’s only one real way to deal with Delta outbreaks, but it’s too early for us to say what will happen in relation to these cases” Premier Andrews added.
Last week, state and territory leaders agreed at national cabinet that short, sharp lockdowns were an appropriate response to outbreaks while COVID vaccination coverage remained low.
Victoria’s two newest infections are close contacts of a teacher and her husband. The teacher teaches at Al Taqwa college in Trugnina and the couple live in the Hobsons Bay council.
Also read: Lockdown 5.0 extended for 7 days
The husband works in Caroline Springs and plays for the Newport Football Club.
All players of the Newport Football club are now in isolation.
Authorities believe the teacher may have been infectious while in the community and school for some days.
Both husband and wife tested positive on yesterday, but most worryingly for authorities, the source of their infection remains unknown.
Another man, in his 20s, in the neighbouring City of Maribyrnong, is the third mystery case. He and his housemate are now isolating.
The three other cases from today’s numbers are linked to the Moonee Valley testing site cluster.
Daniel Andrews said it was “too early for us to say what will happen in relation to these cases”.
“We are still waiting on interviews, on test results, genomic sequencing there’s a lot of work gone on this morning and there will be more that goes on throughout the day,” he said.
Until today’s mystery cases leading to lockdown 6.0, Victoria had been on track to further ease virus restrictions from August 10 after its most recent lockdown ended.
The state government’s list of exposure sites can be checked here.