Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says the state will press on with its plans to further ease coronavirus restrictions next week, despite an apparent increase in community transmission of COVID-19.
Key points:The Premier says the number of new cases is a reminder the pandemic is “far from over”Two childcare centres in Melbourne are closed after unrelated positive cases attended while infectiousVictorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos says a third Black Lives Matter protester was not infectious at the rally
The state has recorded a further 18 new cases, including a third Black Lives Matter protester and a “very young child” who attended a childcare centre while infectious.
Mr Andrews said health officials believed the state could continue to “slowly, cautiously, safely” reopen, but reminded people to adhere to social distancing measures.
“Today’s numbers and yesterday numbers are a timely reminder, if anyone needed that, that this is far from over,” he said.
The jump in cases comes after Victoria yesterday recorded its largest single-day increase in infections in over a month.
Yesterday’s increase of 21 was the state’s highest since May 15, but included 15 returned travellers.
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The Premier said there were no plans to delay the further easing of restrictions planned for June 22, but said officials would review restrictions every day.
“It’s all based on what the virus is doing in the Victorian community, how much community transmission there is, how confident we are that a second wave can be avoided,” he said.
“And at this stage, we remain confident of that. But we’re going to keep working hard to make sure that everything we do minimises the chances of a second wave.”
Two childcare centres close after positive tests
Of the 18 new cases recorded overnight, six were returned travellers in hotel quarantine, health officials said.
Victorian Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen said the Black Lives Matter protester was a man in his 20s and was not infectious at the rally.
About 10,000 people attended the Black Lives Matter protest in Melbourne on June 6.(ABC News: Simon Tucci)
She said it was “impossible to tell” if he had contracted the virus at the demonstration, where he had worn a mask, or at one of the places he had visited around the same time.
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An H&M store at the Northland shopping centre in Preston, where the man worked while infectious, has been closed for contact tracing and cleaning.
Earlier, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said one new case was a “very young child” who was diagnosed through routine testing, and attended Guardian Childcare and Education in Prahran for one day during their infectious period.
Another new case, unrelated to the young child, was a childcare worker at an early learning centre in Pakenham who went to work for one day while infectious, Ms Mikakos said.
Both those learning centres will be closed today for contact tracing and cleaning.
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The new infections also include a case connected to an outbreak at the Croydon Family Practice, in Melbourne’s east, and a healthcare worker at the Victorian Rehabilitation Centre in Glen Waverley.
Three cases are still under investigation.
The latest cases bring the total recorded in Victoria since the pandemic began to 1,780.
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