Victoria's Health Minister Jenny Mikakos
Victoria's Health Minister Jenny Mikakos

Returning travellers spark virus spike

Returned travellers in hotel quarantine have given Victoria its biggest spike in daily coronavirus cases in more than a month.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos on Wednesday announced the state's infection tally had increased to 1762 after 21 new cases were recorded.

The last time a bigger increase was recorded was on May 4, when 22 cases were identified amid the Cedar Meats outbreak crisis.

Of the 21 new cases announced on Wednesday, 15 are returned travellers in mandatory hotel quarantine.

"We will continue to see large numbers of returning travellers coming back to Australia, coming back to Melbourne," Ms Mikakos told reporters.

"Exponential growth in cases in certain countries and returned travellers coming back from those countries, obviously that will impact our numbers."

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the number of cases detected in hotel quarantine showed the national cabinet had made the right call introducing the measure.

He also encouraged Victorians to holiday in their own state after SA opened the borders for WA, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

"I don't want to be offensive to South Australians but why would you want to go there? Holiday here," he said.

Of the remaining six new cases recorded on Wednesday, one was a staff worker from Stamford Plaza Hotel, which houses returned travellers.

Another test returned positive from a resident at aged care centre Rosstown Community in Carnegie, prompting its lockdown.

The 53-bed facility run by Glen Eira council will have to undergo deep cleaning and contact tracing.

Meanwhile, a childcare centre in Melbourne was also shut down after a worker tested positive for coronavirus.

A health department spokesperson on Wednesday confirmed a staff member from Inspira Early Learning Centre in Gladstone Park had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The worker attended the centre while infectious for two days last week and families have been notified, while the centre has been closed for cleaning and contact tracing for at least a day.

The new confirmed case follows the closure of a third Victorian school this week, after a child tested positive to coronavirus.

The student at Strathmore Primary School was one of nine new COVID-19 cases recorded in Victoria on Tuesday.

The primary school was expected to remain closed for 24 hours on Tuesday while it was deep cleaned and close contacts were traced.

Pakenham Springs Primary School and St Dominic's Primary School in Broadmeadows were closed on Monday after two students at each school tested positive.

The four students are part of an extended family cluster that increased by one more case on Tuesday.

A total of 12 people in the family have now contracted coronavirus after attending gatherings across homes in Broadmeadows, Coburg and Pakenham.

Originally published as Returning travellers spark Vic virus spike


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