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No new Victorian COVID-19 infections after local case this week
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton. Source: Sky News
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  • Victoria has reported another four locally acquired cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, taking the total number of new cases in the latest outbreak to 30
  • The list of exposure sites has now grown to around 120, with five Melbourne locations of particular concern to Victorian health authorities
  • Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the direct link between the first known new case and the latest outbreak is still unclear
  • Today's update comes after Victoria entered a seven-day, state-wide lockdown to curb the spread of the latest outbreak
  • Acting Premier James Merlino said today the state government is working to provide some support for Victorian business over the period of lockdown
  • He added that at this stage, it's too early to say whether the seven-day lockdown will be extended

Victoria has reported another four locally acquired cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, taking the total number of new cases in the latest outbreak to 30.

The list of exposure sites across Melbourne has now grown to around 120 as Victorians spend their first day in lockdown.

Five of these exposure sites are of particular concern to the Victorian health authorities, who believe the virus may have spread through popular pubs and bars.

One case is known to have contracted the virus from the Sporting Globe bar in Mordialloc, and anyone who attended any of the high-risk sites at designated times is being urged to get tested as soon as possible.

Other tier-one exposure sites include several fitness centres around Melbourne and a cinema in Coburg.

However, Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the direct link between the first known new case and the latest outbreak is still unclear.

Professor Sutton said while it has been confirmed the outbreak is connected to a Wollert man who arrived in Melbourne after a stint of hotel quarantine in South Australia, a direct link between this man and the latest outbreak is not yet known.

"We know that there is a link. It has come from the gentleman who came from South Australia, but we don't have the links mapped out, epidemiologically," he said.

Today's update comes after Victoria entered a seven-day, state-wide lockdown to curb the spread of the latest outbreak.

Victorians are not allowed to leave their home except for shopping, outdoor exercise, authorised work, caregiving, compassionate or medical reasons and to get vaccinated. Masks must also be worn at all times, both indoors and outdoors.

Regional Victoria part of lockdown

The latest lockdown measures extend to Regional Victoria, too, even though there have been no traces of COVID-19 outside of metro Melbourne.

The Chief Health Office said while he understands why this would be frustrating to regional Victorians, it's necessary in order to stop people from the city flocking to regional locations to avoid being locked down.

"I understand the reflections of regional Victorian who are rightly saying they have not had cases for many months, and for some local government areas, over a year," Professor Sutton said.

"The reality is if we carved out a part of regional Victoria and said no restrictions in that place, that's where everyone from Melbourne would go," he explained.

He added that the restrictions are under review "every single day", meaning the state government can lift restrictions in certain areas if it works out a safe way to do so.

Business support

Meanwhile, Acting Premier James Merlino said today the state government is working to provide some support for Victorian business over the period of lockdown.

Without the Federal JobKeeper package, the support package falls on the Victorian government, but the Acting Premier said he hopes the Federal Government will help out.

"We will be providing support — a package for businesses — and we will be releasing that in coming days," he said.

"There is no Jobkeeper anymore, so the Treasurer, Tim Pallas, is engaging with Josh Frydenberg at a Federal level. So, there is engagement between the state and Federal Government in terms of what support the Federal Government might provide."

Acting Premier Merlino added that at this stage, it's too early to say whether the seven-day lockdown will be extended.

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