Second protester tests positive to COVID-19

A second person who took to the streets of Melbourne CBD to protest last week has been confirmed as having COVID-19.

COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said a man in his 30s in Geelong had since tested positive to COVID-19 after attending the protests in Melbourne CBD on Tuesday.

The Age, News, 20/09/2021, photo by Justin McManus. Construction workers protest outside the office of the CFMEU against mandatory vaccines in the construction industry. (Nine)

“He turned positive a couple of days ago. He was in the day before yesterday’s numbers.”

Mr Weimar said there was a “flurry of activity going on” around the man to determine potential transmission.

Mr Weimar said the stage of the man’s infection meant it was unlikely he caught the virus at the protest, but that he “would have been at that protest during his infectious period”.

Mr Weimar said the first protester with COVID-19 who authorities were aware of was still being treated at St Vincent’s Hospital and contact tracers had not yet found any other cases of the virus directly linked to the protester.

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A number of police officers who were forced into isolation following the discovery of the infection have all returned negative test results.

He said the protests had absolutely posed a high risk of the virus spreading the virus.

“When you see such a large number of people all out on the street together, all doing the things which are in breach of directions, regardless of why you’re there, that is an absolute risk. If you’re gonna hang around in a crowd of 500 people, then if there are COVID-positive people, and the chances are this is where you’ll see spread.”

Mr Weimar said it was unknown how either of the two protesters had caught COVID-19.

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