57 new COVID-19 cases, most linked

August 19, 2021 BY

Nearly 50,000 COVID-19 tests were carried out on Wednesday in Victoria. Photo: JAMES ROSS/AAP IMAGE

VICTORIA has recorded 57 new locally acquired coronavirus cases – the state’s highest daily tally since the second wave – on Melbourne’s 200th day of lockdown.

The health department today (Thursday, August 19) confirmed 54 of the cases are linked to known outbreaks, while 44 were self-isolating throughout their infectious period.

It leaves three cases under investigation.

Some 49,607 tests were processed in the 24 hours to this morning, while 27,581 Victorians received a vaccine dose at a state-run hub.

AAP understands the spike in new cases is a result of day-13 testing for several close contacts associated with outbreaks at schools, including Al-Taqwa College and Mt Alexander College.

Yesterday (Wednesday, August 18), Health Minister Martin Foley said there were more than 10,000 close contacts of known COVID-19 cases due for day-13 testing in coming days and it was expected that the case numbers would be large, but most people were in isolation.

Mr Foley said authorities were more concerned about infections that can not be linked to known outbreaks.

St Kilda in particular has emerged as the state’s latest battleground, with six mystery infections, including a sex worker.

Anyone who lives or works in the area is urged to come forward for testing even if they don’t have symptoms.

Testing and vaccine efforts have been ramped up around St Kilda, including a drive-through and walk-up testing centre at the Palais Theatre car park and a pop-up vaccine hub at Peanut Farm Reserve.

Several exposure sites have been listed in the suburb, including the Salvation Army Crisis Centre and the Sacred Heart Mission Women’s House and Dining Hall.

Melbourne is two weeks into its sixth lockdown, which was extended on Monday this week until September 2, bringing the total number of days the city has been under stay-at-home orders to 200.

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