Australia

How Melbourne’s virus cluster spread across 14 households

Melbourne’s explosive Black Rock cluster that snapped the state’s streak of 61 days without any new coronavirus infections has spread across 14 households in the city’s southeast. Department of Health and Human Services testing commander Jeroen Weimar said a group of 12 had dined at the Smile Buffalo Thai Black Rock and “infected each other”…

Melbourne’s explosive Black Rock cluster that snapped the state’s streak of 61 days without any new coronavirus infections has spread across 14 households in the city’s southeast.

Department of Health and Human Services testing commander Jeroen Weimar said a group of 12 had dined at the Smile Buffalo Thai Black Rock and “infected each other” before transmitting the virus to the rest of the community.

There are 27 active cases linked to the cluster, will all three new cases recorded on Tuesday connected to it.

Anyone who visited Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant from 7.30-9.30pm on December 21 must get tested for coronavirus immediately and quarantine for 14 days regardless of symptoms.

There are 900 primary and 400 secondary contacts associated with the cluster.

But five days into the outbreak, Mr Weimar is confident health authorities are getting on top of the situation.

“Twelve of the 27 cases were all together on 21 December, at the dinner, at the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant in Black Rock,” he told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s exceptionally positive that every single day that we’ve been talking about the Black Rock cluster, any new positives are identified within people who have already been asked to isolate and quarantine for 14 days.

“That of course gives us a very good chance of containing this cluster as we move along.”

Mr Weimar warned the situation would “continue to evolve” as more exposure sites were listed on the DHHS website.

“As more of the primary close contacts test positive, as more people come into the scope of our investigation, hence more exposure sites are being identified,” he said.

“If we get hold of it this week, we’ll be in a far better position in the weeks ahead.”

Victoria recorded three new locally acquired cases of coronavirus on Tuesday as 32,544 Victorians were tested in the past 24 hours.

The Department of Health also confirmed one new case in overseas arrivals.

There are 38 active COVID-19 cases across the state.

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