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Victoria has recorded 24 new locally acquired cases of coronavirus as authorities added another Lygon Street residential tower to the state’s growing list of COVID-19 exposure sites, and permits for authorised workers were reintroduced.
Of the new local COVID cases recorded in the 24 hours to midnight on Tuesday, 20 were linked to known outbreaks and 18 were in isolation for their entire infectious periods.
Authorities are still investigating how four people caught the virus.
Victoria’s Department of Health on Tuesday evening declared a residential tower at 510 Lygon Street a tier 2 exposure site.
That means anyone who was on site between Saturday, August 14 and Tuesday, August 17 must urgently get tested for COVID-19, and isolate until they receive a negative test result.
However, the health department said some individuals at the tower would be classified as tier 1 close contacts, meaning they must get tested and quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their test result.
The department said it would contact those tier 1 contacts directly.
The residential tower is the second on Lygon Street in Carlton to be declared an exposure site in this past week.
On Sunday, authorities listed the public housing tower at 480 Lygon Street as a tier 2 exposure site for more than a week, although they warned some residents would be classified as close contacts.
Another three tier 2 exposure sites were listed late on Tuesday evening: a 7-Eleven at Flemington, a skate park at Jacana in Melbourne’s north and Bakers Delight in Ashburton, in the city’s south-east.
Authorities have declared another residential tower in Carlton a COVID-19 exposure site, after 480 Lygon Street (pictured) was listed on Sunday. Credit:Joe Armao
Victorian health authorities are also increasingly concerned about the spread of coronavirus among children following a number of suspected cases of outdoor transmission and a surge in infections involving school students under 10.
One day after metropolitan Melbourne was plunged back into its toughest lockdown since last year’s second wave, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said his team was investigating a potential case of playground transmission and a “more definitive” incident of transmission between students who walked home together.
“[These were students] who were not in classes together and did not have any other face-to-face interaction other than sharing a walk home,” Professor Sutton said. “So the risk is there – and we want to minimise every opportunity to get ahead of this.”
Fifty of Victoria’s 227 active cases involve children under 10, including 28 boys and 22 girls. A further 38 active cases involve people under 19.
Police patrol Princes Park in Carlton on Tuesday morning.Credit:Joe Armao
Also late on Tuesday, at 11.59pm, authorised worker permits came back into effect for Melburnians.
Authorised workers must carry their permits, signed by their employers, when travelling to and from their workplaces. Businesses can be fined up to nearly $110,000 if they issue permits to employees who aren’t eligible for the worker permit scheme.
On-the-spot fines of $1817 will also apply to individuals, while businesses face $11,000 if they breach the scheme requirements.
More than 39,832 coronavirus test results were processed on Tuesday, while more than 27,173 people rolled up their sleeves for a COVID-19 vaccine. Victoria recorded no new overseas-acquired cases of COVID-19 in hotel quarantine.
With Farrah Tomazin and Paul Sakkal
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