Coronavirus crisis: 165 new COVID-19 cases in locked-down Victoria

Benita KolovosAAP
VideoVictoria Police stop motorists leaving the Melbourne metropolitan stage three-zone on the freeway near Little River

Victoria has recorded 165 new cases of coronavirus, as an outbreak at a high school becomes the state’s largest cluster.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton on Thursday confirmed just 30 of the state’s new cases are linked to known outbreaks, with 135 remaining under investigation.

Six of the new cases are linked to an outbreak at Al-Taqwa College in Truganina, which has become the state’s biggest cluster totalling 113 people.

The first case at the school was identified on June 27, with more than 2000 students and hundreds of staff sent into quarantine.

Nine public housing estates are in mandatory lockdown and two additional suburbs are under stay-at-home orders as authorities work to stop further COVID-19 outbreaks in Melbourne.
Camera IconNine public housing estates are in mandatory lockdown and two additional suburbs are under stay-at-home orders as authorities work to stop further COVID-19 outbreaks in Melbourne. Credit: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Eighteen cases are linked to the nine locked-down public housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne, with the outbreak now totalling 111.

All 3000 residents have now been tested, with more results expected later on Thursday.

Residents have been in a hard lockdown since Saturday afternoon, unable to leave their apartments due to fears the high-density “vertical cruise ships” have “explosive potential” to spread COVID-19.

Two healthcare workers at Sunshine Hospital and two at the Royal Melbourne Hospital have also tested positive, with contact tracing underway.

Another staff member at Northern Hospital in Epping has also contracted the virus, taking the total to 11.

Seven new cases are staff members at aged care facilities across Melbourne.

It’s the fourth day of new cases in the triple-digits, with the state’s overall total now 3098. More than 900 cases are active.

From Thursday, residents in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, which includes Broadford, Kilmore, Pyalong, Seymour, Tallarook and Wallan, re-entered lockdown for six weeks.

It means people can only leave their homes to get food and supplies, receive or provide care, exercise, and study or work.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails