Two cases of COVID-19 have been reclassified as false positives, with health authorities amending case numbers following a review.

The reclassification of the cases could go some way in allaying fears around so-called “fleeting” transmission of the virus between strangers.

In a statement, Victoria’s Department of Health wrote that primary close contacts of the cases will now be allowed to leave quarantine, providing they are not also linked to other exposure sites.

It was initially thought that one woman caught COVID-19 at a display home in Mickleham, while a man was believed to have picked up the virus at the Brighton Beach Hotel.

Both locations, however, remain listed as exposure sites having been linked to other cases.


Despite the reclassification of these two cases, the state’s COVID Commander Jeroen Weimar says that there are as many as five cases of “stranger-to-stranger” transmission in the current case numbers.

“This is very, relatively speaking, fleeting contact. They do not know each other’s names and that is very different from what we have seen before,” Mr Weimar said on Tuesday.

It is unknown whether the two now-reclassified cases contributed to the extension of Melbourne’s lockdown.

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