With two weeks passing after the initial cases from the Whittlesea cluster were identified, all initial close contacts have now been released from quarantine.
The milestone has led health authorities to believe that the cluster has now been contained, however, fears around a growing “mystery” outbreak have quelled hopes of an early release from lockdown for Melburnians.
Questions remain over how the West Melbourne cluster, with the highly infectious Delta variant at the centre, has emerged.
On Sunday, health authorities confirmed four new cases of community transmission, all linked to the West Melbourne cluster. Two of the cases were detected in the Arcare Maidstone aged care home, both the resident and nurse who tested positive had been vaccinated.
Confusion around the source of the growing cluster, which now stands at 10 cases, means that the current lockdown restrictions are unlikely to lift before Friday, the scheduled end to the city’s two-week lockdown.
Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Allen Cheng says that unlocking the mystery cases could be key to lifting restrictions.
“For these cases that we can’t find who gave them the infection, particularly the family who returned from Jervis Bay we are concerned about who was it that might have given them the infection and therefore could there be other infections related to that,” Professor Cheng said.
Over the weekend, health authorities confirmed nine new cases of the virus, with two of the cases confirmed on Sunday set to be reflected in Monday’s data. The state’s list of COVID exposure sites now sits at over 350 with a number of train services on the Upfield line added, you can see the full list of locations here.