Victorian exposure sites pass 1000 as state records 76 new local cases

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Victoria has recorded 76 new local coronavirus cases on Tuesday as the number of exposure sites identified across the state passed 1000 overnight.

Of Tuesday’s new cases, 45 are linked to the state’s current outbreaks, and authorities are investigating the acquisition source for the remaining 31 cases.

The number of coronavirus exposure sites identified in Victoria passed 1000 overnight.Credit:Justin McManus

The Health Department did not specify how many of the cases were in isolation for their entire infectious period and said more information would be provided later on Tuesday morning.

The cases were reported from nearly 50,850 COVID-19 tests. No cases were recorded in the state’s hotel quarantine.

The figures come after Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton warned he was not sure whether Victoria could achieve zero COVID-19 cases in the short term, despite Premier Daniel Andrews stating on the weekend the state was still aiming for “very low numbers”.

“We have to do what is feasible,” Professor Sutton said on Monday. “We are not going to achieve the impossible if it becomes impossible.”

On Sunday, Mr Andrews said the state’s case numbers were too high to open up but that “we are still a chance to drive this down to very low numbers … no one has given up on that”.

Victorian COVID-19 exposure site list expands

Health authorities identified nearly 150 new sites on Monday, including several tier-1 or close contact exposure sites.

Alpass & Associates law firm at Kilsyth in Melbourne’s east was declared a tier-1 site on Monday evening, as was Monash Ultrasound for Women at Mulgrave.

Authorities warned there would also be some close contacts associated with a school construction site in Port Melbourne, as well as with Woolworths Northland in Preston, and an apartment complex in Brunswick.

Chapel Street calls for a double-vaccinated re-opening plan

Businesses in the Chapel Street precinct are calling on the Victorian government to detail how they will be able to reopen safely to double-vaccinated Melburnians.

Chapel Street precinct general manager Chrissie Maus said: “Our businesses are ready and willing to jump through any hoop to reopen safely.”

“The sooner we do so, the better for livelihoods and everyone’s mental health and wellbeing,” she said.

Ms Maus said NSW had the “right mix”, learning to live with the virus while dangling a “freedom carrot” to supercharge COVID-19 vaccination rates.

Precinct chair Justin O’Donnell said that hair and beauty salons in the precinct could, for example, be controlled environments and abide by strict COVID-safe requirements. “These safety models are already used overseas,” he said.

“[The] Chapel Street precinct fully supports vaccinated people to have more access to services and for the non-vaccinated to take precautions and or stay at home until vaccinated.”

In the past 24 hours, more than 32,160 Victorians received their COVID-19 vaccine doses.

With Clay Lucas and Craig Butt

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