Victoria records one new case of COVID-19 in hotel quarantine, no new local cases

Victoria has recorded one new overseas acquired case of COVID-19, as a Victorian identified as a close contact to an exposure site linked to an outbreak in Queensland awaits test results.

Monday marked 31 days straight with no new local coronavirus cases in Victoria, and the new international case in hotel quarantine is the sole active case in the state.

The Victorian Health Department on Sunday advised that three Victorians who returned from Brisbane a week ago had been at an Italian restaurant in the suburb of Redcliffe which has been identified as an exposure site by Queensland Health authorities.

Two out of three of the cases, who were all travelling together, have already tested negative. The trio will remain in quarantine for 14 days regardless.

The wider Brisbane and Moreton Bay local government areas are now considered “orange zones” by the Victorian Department of Health. It means anyone who has arrived from those areas since March 12 must immediately self isolate, get a coronavirus test within 72 hours of arrival, and stay isolated until they get a negative result.

More than 21,000 people have been contacted by the Department to remind them of the instructions, while any new arrivals from Brisbane and Moreton Bay must apply for a permit in order to travel into Victoria.

Queensland Health authorities made an embarrassing admission on Sunday that reports of an unlawful party of 25 people thought to be a possible superspreader event was overplayed, at that only five people were in attendance at the gathering.

A press release issued last week claiming 25 people had attended the address of a man who was awaiting a test result was wrong, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.

She revealed that in fact there had been only five other people at the house that night, four of whom live there, along with one visitor.

Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski conceded on Monday morning that the “misinformation” that was initially relayed to his force had the potential to erode public trust in the system, and put innocent people at risk of retaliation.

“It does, and that’s why it is really, really important we have gone out and corrected the
record as soon as we knew it happened,” he told Nine’s Today program.

It comes as Victoria continues preparation to begin accepting international air travellers again next Thursday. The state’s hotel quarantine program for international travellers was suspended in early February after a virus leak that resulted in a five-day, state-wide lockdown.

A total of 13,963 tests were processed in Victoria on Sunday.

With Stuart Layt, Ashleigh McMillan

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