Australia

Coronavirus LIVE updates: Victoria records seven new COVID-19 cases for Saturday as AFL grand final 2020 in Queensland gets underway, government aims to bring 20,000 ex-pats home by Christmas

In case you missed it, here are the key points from the Premier's press conference on this grand final Saturday:

  • Victoria recorded seven new cases on Saturday and no deaths.
  • Six of the new cases are linked to known outbreaks, including the East Preston Islamic College outbreak, Croxton Special School in Northcote, the Hoppers Crossing community outbreak and Estia aged care in Keilor.
  • One of the cases is a student at the Islamic college. The seventh case is under investigation but is a person who has previously tested positive for COVID-19 and may be shedding the virus.
  • A family of four, with a child at East Preston Islamic College and a child at Croxton Special School, has tested positive for the virus. The mother was the first person to be diagnosed, before the remaining three family members tested positive. Thirty-four close contacts of the child at Croxton Special School are now in self-isolation.
  • More than 100 close contacts connected to the East Preston Islamic College outbreak are also in self-isolation. Their 307 secondary close contacts are isolating, pending their test results.
  • Every single person connected to East Preston Islamic College and Croxton Special School is being asked to get tested and isolate immediately, even if they do not have symptoms.
  • Anyone identified as a close contact must remain in isolation for 14 days, even if their initial test result is negative. However, people identified as "secondary close contacts" - the contacts of close contacts - do not need to remain in isolation if their initial test is negative.
  • Premier Daniel Andrews warned Victorians that restrictions may not be eased back as expected tomorrow due to the outbreak.
  • Mr Andrews cautioned people from "banking that tomorrow I’m making a whole series of detailed announcements about opening up". Although he is "still optimistic that we will be able to have positive things to say".
  • Melbourne's 25-kilometre travel limit may not be lifted on Sunday as some have hoped. The government wants to protect popular day-trip destinations like the Mornington Peninsula and the Dandenong Ranges from being flooded with lockdown-weary Melburnians, but chiefly from northern suburbs' residents who may be carrying the virus.
  • The Premier says locking down certain suburbs, while easing restrictions across the rest of Melbourne, is not the way forward. His preferred method of containing outbreaks is isolating positive cases, their close contacts and "third ring contacts".
  • Of the 17,219 coronavirus tests carried out on Friday, 2802 were undertaken in the northern suburbs.
  • Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton, who fronted a press conference for the first time since Monday, is confident the northern suburbs outbreak will be brought under control.
  • The Premier denied the health department failed to communicate properly with the family at the centre of the East Preston Islamic College outbreak, saying "I'm not accepting the notion that the response of our dedicated public health team was not complete".
  • Mr Andrews could not confirm reports that workers who have been employed on $120,000-a-year contracts for Victoria's hotel quarantine program are sitting at home idly waiting for the scheme to resume. But he said the government does have a workforce on standby.

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