Sex worker among Victoria’s COVID-19 cases

August 18, 2021 BY

A decision on how long Victoria's lockdown will be extended is set to be announced in coming days. Photo: DANIEL POCKETT/AAP IMAGE

A SEX worker in Melbourne’s southeast suburbs has tested positive for COVID-19.

Health Minister Martin Foley says the sex worker, who lives in St Kilda, tested positive in recent days.

“I stress there is no evidence of transmission having occurred because of this person’s sex work occupation but out of caution we are asking that if you have employed a sex worker in the St Kilda area, you need to come forward and get tested,” he told reporters today (Wednesday, August 18).

He said several of the sex worker’s close contacts had been tested and returned negative results.

Authorities have been urging anyone with COVID-19 symptoms in the Bayside, Glen Eira and Port Phillip areas to come forward for testing, due to a high number of cases that cannot be linked to known outbreaks.

There have been six mystery cases linked to the St Kilda area in recent days, while there are more than 50 exposure sites stretching from South Melbourne to Brighton.

“There is no connection bar anything apart from geography,” COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said.

“We have within that cluster accountants, we have architects, we have a sex worker, we have members of the Orthodox Jewish community and a pizza guy who works in a pizza shop.

“It is a very broad and disparate range of people. The only thing that connects them at this point in time is some association, particularly in that St Kilda area.”

A drive-through and walk-up testing centre has been set up at the St Kilda Palais Theatre car park.

Victoria has recorded 24 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, including four cases under investigation. Eighteen were in isolation for their entire infectious period.

Meanwhile, the Victorian Government will launch a new ad campaign urging people with cold and flu symptoms to get tested for COVID-19.

According to new data, less than half of those with symptoms get tested as they assume they do not have the virus.

There are 12 people battling the virus in hospital, including two in intensive care, though they are not on ventilators.

Melbourne is 13 days into its sixth lockdown, which was extended on Monday this week until September 2.

For the full list of exposure sites, head to coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites.

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