Two likely COVID cases have emerged in Victoria, potentially ending the state’s virus-free streak after an infected man entered the state earlier this month.
The Victorian Department of Health on Monday confirmed two “likely” positive cases of COVID-19 had been discovered in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
It’s understood the two cases are linked.
The department said a full investigation was underway into the results, and initial public health actions were being put in place while both individuals isolated.
It comes after Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton issued a warning on Friday about a “worrying” situation in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
Traces of COVID were last Thursday picked up in wastewater in the Epping and Wollert areas, almost three weeks after the city reported the positive COVID case from a man who flew in from India.
On Friday Professor Sutton warned anyone experiencing symptoms to get tested.
“This detection is of note because there are public exposure sites in the area relating to the Wollert case, who has been isolating in a health hotel outside the catchment,” he said.
“Out of an abundance of caution, anyone who has been to any exposure sites has to get tested and isolate.”
Dozens of locations have been listed as public exposure sites since the positive case was first reported on May 11.
While the sites were mainly concentrated to Epping and Altona North, Melbourne’s CBD and the Southern Cross and Craigieburn train stations were listed as high risk.
But revelations that came to light late on Friday found contact tracers had missed a vital virus exposure site.
Professor Sutton said there had been an ‘error’ in pinpointing Woolworths in Epping North as an exposure site.
“We are encouraging anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 – fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, and loss or change in sense of smell or taste – to get tested,” he said.
“While the detections may be due to someone who has had COVID-19 that is no longer infectious continuing to shed the virus, it is also possible that it is due to an active but undiagnosed infectious case.”
The latest outbreak was sparked by an infected man, in his 30s, who returned to Australia from India on April 19.
The man returned to his Wollert home in Victoria on May 4, and developed symptoms four days later, before returning a positive COVID test on May 11.
Authorities believe he caught the virus in the Adelaide quarantine hotel where he was staying.