The state government has reacted to the emergence of a new mystery case of community transmission with a change to the restrictions being lifted on Friday.

Health authorities confirmed four new locally-acquired cases of coronavirus on Thursday morning, all within the same household.

However, the source of the original transmission is still under review, leaving contact tracers scratching their heads as to how the initial transmission was made.

News of the emerging “mystery” transmission means that the majority of restrictions will still lift at 11:59 pm on Thursday, with one key exception.

Melburnians will need to continue to wear masks at all settings outside of the home in Metropolitan Melbourne. Meaning that people will continue needing to wear masks while outside.

Acting Premier James Merlino told reporters on Thursday morning that the government will continue to take cautious steps toward lifting the lockdown restrictions that have been in place over the past two weeks; however, he urged Victorians to continue getting tested in high numbers.

In explaining the rule change, the state’s deputy chief health officer told reporters that it’s a small sacrifice to safeguard against more transmission.

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“Masks are obviously a very small impost, we’ve all got them and all we need to do is put them on and they are effective,” Professor Cheng said on Thursday morning.

“Given the record numbers over the last week or so, I think that we can do better,” Mr Merlino said, in reference to the testing numbers notched up by the state over recent weeks.

While the number of public exposure sites has fallen to below 200, there are a number of new sites being added following the identification of the new mystery cases.

You can see the full list of COVID exposure sites at the Department of Health’s website here.

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