Four positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Melbourne’s north

Victorian health officials have identified four total positive cases of COVID-19 after two “likely” cases were identified this morning.

All four cases are from the one family in the City of Whittlesea in Melbourne’s north.

Two of the cases are men, one woman and a child.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said one of the new cases was potentially highly infectious.

“The CT values were low which means the viral load was high and, as you say, with close contacts becoming positive, he is likely to be quite infectious,” he said.

Professor Sutton warned Victorians should prepare for more positive cases.

“We will always be at risk until we have high vaccination coverage.”

Highpoint Shopping Centre. (Simon Schluter/The Age)

Mr Foley said health authorities were investigating the cases and testing hours at all major sites have been extended to 8pm this evening.

He added the new cases are not necessarily linked to exposure sites identified last week.

“There is, as yet, no indication that these individuals are linked to any exposure sites from the previous alert case,” he said.

Earlier today two people in Melbourne’s north were identified as “likely positive cases”, sparking fears the virus may have spread following an outbreak scare two weeks ago.

The Department of Health confirmed in a statement this morning a full investigation was underway into the test results.

This afternoon Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley confirmed the two likely cases, along with two others.

He said a woman and a child from the same household also tested positive.

“We will communicate any specific public health actions the community needs to undertake as soon as possible when investigations and case interviews are complete,” the statement read.

The two potentially positive people are believed to be connected.

They are isolating and will be urgently retested.

The possible fresh cases follow a coronavirus scare earlier this month, where a man who was COVID-positive travelled around Melbourne’s north whilst potentially infectious.

He visited Woolworths Epping North on May 8, along with a 7-Eleven on May 6 and 8, and another supermarket in the area.

There were also fears the man may have infected hundreds of commuters after two train trips were listed as exposure sites, one of which coincided with the end of an AFL match.

Commuters who travelled on the 10.20pm train service from Flinders Street to Craigieburn were also required to take a COVID-19 test.

Curry Vault Indian Restaurant & Bar in Melbourne’s CBD was also listed as an exposure site.

Traces of COVID-19 was picked up in wastewater in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, in the Epping and Wollert areas, last Thursday night.

“These types of traces of coronavirus in wastewater are getting detected regularly – with more people leaving hotel quarantine – cleared of the virus but still shedding, and moving around our community,” Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said in a statement.

“While the detections may be due to someone who has had COVID-19 that is no longer infectious continuing to ‘shed’ the virus, it is also possible that it is due to an active but undiagnosed infectious case.

There are fears COVID-19 may have spread in the community. (9News)

“This detection is of note because there are public exposure sites in the area relating to the Wollert case, who has been isolating in a health hotel outside the catchment.”

Anyone with any COVID-19 symptoms, including a fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, and loss or change in their sense of smell or test, has been urged to get tested.

There is also a push for people to get vaccinated as soon as possible if they are eligible, with wait times steadily increasing across the city’s north since the new likely positive cases were announced.

People can book an appointment at vaccination centres by calling 1800 675 398.

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