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New coronavirus hotspot emerges in Melbourne – forcing Victoria to extend state of emergency

Worrying new coronavirus hotspot emerges in Melbourne – forcing Victoria to extend its state of emergency by three weeks

  • Two of the new cases are linked to a family outbreak in Melbourne’s northwest 
  • The new virus hot spot has led to the closure of two schools within the region 
  • Keilor Downs Secondary College and Holy Eucharist Primary School both closed
  • Victoria has also extended its state of emergency by another three weeks 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Victoria’s state of emergency has been extended by three weeks as a cluster in the city’s northwest continues to grow.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos confirmed there has been a net increase of four cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, taking the state’s total number of cases to 1649.  About 70 remain active.

There were six new cases since Saturday, but two cases were removed from the state’s overall tally due to reclassification. 

Victoria’s state of emergency has been extended by three weeks as a cluster in the city’s northwest continues to grow forcing the closure of two schools (Keilor Downs Secondary College pictured)

Two of the new cases are linked to a family outbreak in Keilor Downs which has now infected 13 people across two homes.

It also led to the closure of Keilor Downs Secondary College and Holy Eucharist Primary School in St Albans after two siblings tested positive to coronavirus earlier this week.

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 7,195

New South Wales: 3,095

Victoria: 1,649

Queensland: 1,058

Western Australia: 589

South Australia: 440

Tasmania: 228

Australian Capital Territory: 107

Northern Territory: 29

TOTAL CASES: 7,195

RECOVERED: 6,614

DEATHS: 103

The schools will reopen after deep cleaning on Monday, but more than 100 students have been forced to self-isolate for 14 days after coming into contact with the infected students.

The group is made up of 80 students from Keilor Downs, 20 at Holy Eucharist, six students from Taylors Lakes Secondary College and one St Albans Secondary College.

Ms Mikakos said many outbreaks in Victoria have been acquired through family gatherings like weddings, birthday parties and dinners and urged Victorians to remain vigilant as restrictions ease this coming week.

‘Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you must do it,’ she told reporters.

A drive-through testing site has been set up at the Keilor Community Hub to help curb the outbreak. There is also a screening clinic at Sunshine Hospital.

‘We obviously have some concerns about what might be happening in the Keilor Downs area, it’s possible there might be community transmission in that area that hasn’t been established to date,’ she said, urging residents even with very mild symptoms to get tested.

The new cluster, including two siblings, forced the closure of the Keilor Downs Secondary College and Holy Eucharist Primary School in St Albans with more than 100 students forced into 14-day quarantine

The new cluster, including two siblings, forced the closure of the Keilor Downs Secondary College and Holy Eucharist Primary School in St Albans with more than 100 students forced into 14-day quarantine 

It is not yet known how the family first contracted the virus.

Of the other new cases, three were returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine and one was discovered as part of community testing.

More than half a million Victorians have now been tested for COVID-19.

One additional case, meanwhile, has been linked to an outbreak at Rydges on Swanston.

Ms Mikakos said the case was not new, but further investigation has seen it linked to the cluster, which now totals seven.

The minister announced a three-week extension to Victoria’s state of emergency to 11.59pm on June 21, to allow for the legal enforcement of the restrictions.

The schools will reopen after deep cleaning on Monday, but more than 100 students have been forced to self-isolate for 14 days

The schools will reopen after deep cleaning on Monday, but more than 100 students have been forced to self-isolate for 14 days

From Monday, cafes, restaurants and other spaces where people gather will be able to reopen for 20 people, among other changes, but people are still required to work from home if they can.

‘It’s really important that Victorians understand this pandemic is not over,’ Ms Mikakos said.

‘The virus is still with us. It is highly contagious. It’s important that we take it seriously.’

Individuals caught breaching the directions face on-the-spot fines of $1652 while businesses could be fined $9913.

Six people remain in Victorian hospitals with coronavirus, including two in intensive care.

The state’s death toll remains at 19.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos (pictured) confirmed there has been a net increase of four cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, taking the state's total number of cases to 1649 with a death toll of 19

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos (pictured) confirmed there has been a net increase of four cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, taking the state’s total number of cases to 1649 with a death toll of 19

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk