Victoria’s COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar has given some more insight into how significant an impact illegal social gatherings are having on the spread of coronavirus the state, and shared his fears that more people will decide to break the rules for tonight’s grand final.
He estimates that 45 per cent of people who are catching the virus in the home are doing so when households are mixing when they shouldn’t be.
“That’s a really consistent pattern we’ve seen really for the last five or six weeks, ever since the numbers started to take off,” he said.
And it’s not shocking breaches such as illegal engagement parties that contact tracers are finding. People are, for example, helping out their mothers with chores or visiting their cousins.
“It’s all the day-to-day things that we all desperately want to go back and do. We are seeing far too high a level of that happening. Not just within the northern suburbs but across Melbourne.”
In contrast, Mr Weimar said the workplace outbreaks were now much smaller, indicating that if more people followed public health orders, the number of cases being reported in Victoria could be significantly reduced.
Public health officials are concerned that more people might decide to break the rules to gather with friends or family today for the AFL grand final, with two Victorian teams battling it out for a premiership.
“I’m extremely worried that large numbers of Victorians will say tonight ‘we’ll all get together and have a night out. And we’ll take our masks off and we will scream and shout and have a good drink’,” Mr Weimar said.
“As a result of that, six or seven days down the road we have another big cluster of cases.”