Residents in Victoria are watching closely as 7 new Covid cases were recorded overnight bringing the state total to 19.
The newest cases relate to a returning Victorian family on a red travel permit and a team of removalists both of which had recently travelled from NSW.
Testing confirmed that residents in nearby apartments on the floor that the removalists were attending had contracted Covid.
“I appreciate this is concerning news,” said Jeroen Weimar. “This is clearly a very rapidly moving situation, and we’re very keen to make sure we get a very firm grip of this as soon as we possibly can.”
The removalists transited through Victoria, attending several sites without wearing face masks in violation of the health and work permits. A Maribyrnong apartment complex has since been locked down after residents shared internal lifts with the infected removalists. Residents from Ariele Apartments have been told not to leave unless it is an emergency or for Covid testing.
This news comes alongside news that both an AFL game and Highpoint shopping centre have been added to the list of exposure sites. There were over 2,000 people at the Carlton vs. Geelong game at the MCG on July 10, raising concerns that the Covid case numbers could rise over the next week.
Contact tracers are racing to test the community, but fears remain that Victoria is about to be thrown into another lockdown.
Victoria has been historically quick to enact state lockdowns with 13 cases linked to the Holiday Inn triggering a 5 day lockdown starting February 12 of 2021. Another Victorian lockdown was triggered by 26 cases at the end of May, which only lifted at midnight on June 10.
In all, Victoria has endured four lockdowns with the longest lasting 112 days making it the longest continuous lockdown world-wide. Despite its history of locking down, Victoria has the highest state death toll of 820, the majority of which came from aged care clusters.
Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien criticised those who were out calling for a lockdown, emphasizing the damage that has been done to family businesses during the previous lockdowns.
Director of Policy at the IPA, Gideon Rozner pointed out that Prime Minister Scott Morrison's National Cabinet, comprised of state premiers, were meant to be treating lockdowns as a last resort.
NSW has 825 local cases with Premier Gladys Berejiklian announcing that Sydney's lockdown will be extended until at least July 30, greatly exceeding the original two week period.