Premier warns of return to restrictions

COVID-19 testing at Keilor Community Hub. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 210340_02

Tate Papworth

Premier Daniel Andrews has threatened to impose a stay at home order on virus hotspots.

Last week Keilor Downs, Sunshine West and Albanvale were identified by the government as areas with growing outbreaks.

With a further 71 cases detected across the state on Monday, the Premier warned a return to tighter restrictions may be needed.

“If we have to further limit movement in some of those suburbs, for instance a stay at home order much like we all as a community had to endure for what felt like the longest of times, if that is deemed the appropriate public health response, then that is what we will do,” Mr Andrews said.

As of Monday night there were 32 active cases within the municipality, taking Brimbank’s all time total to 115, second only to Hume (139).

One of Monday”s cases three are linked to the Brimbank family outbreak – bringing the total number of cases in the outbreak to nine.

The other Brimbank outbreak linked to a Keilor Downs family has 21 identified cases.

In a bid to quell spread of the virus across the three hotspot suburbs, the government launched a testing blitz.

The blitz continued over the weekend, with testers going door-to-door testing residents, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms.

Over 40,000 tests were carried out over the weekend and while he said the number of positive tests was “concerning”, the country’s deputy chief medical officer Michael Kidd stopped short of calling it a second wave.

“As expected, this widespread testing continues to identify further cases and this is allowing us to identify those who are infected and to follow their contacts order to move rapidly to contain the outbreak.”

“What we are seeing happening in Victoria is exactly what was planned when we have outbreaks occurring across the country with the immediate increase in the testing, the activation of the contact tracing to identify individuals who have been in contact with infected people and the very rapid action to get people into isolation and quarantine and to prevent further transmission from occurring within the community.”