National

Melbourne man's mystery case linked to Northern Beaches outbreak

Melbourne man's mystery case linked to Northern Beaches outbreak
The Melbourne man's mystery case of COVID-19 has been genomically linked back to Sydney's Northern Beaches outbreak.
The man in his 30s tested positive to coronavirus after attending the cricket at the MCG on December 27 and the Boxing Day sales at Chadstone Shopping Centre.
Victoria recorded zero cases of coronavirus overnight, a positive sign as health authorities race to track down the source of the state's mystery infection.
"Exactly how it got from Sydney to here remains unclear," Premier Daniel Andrews said.
"It's exactly the same strain as NSW authorities are battling now."
Whether there is a link between the Black Rock cluster and the Chadstone case is unknown.
However, the premier said it was "pleasing" to know it could be traced back to the Sydney outbreak, as it meant there was not another cluster incubating in the state.
More than 32,000 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, with 38 active cases in the state.
There are about 2500 close contacts isolating at home.
Mr Andrews, who returned from leave today, said high testing numbers were "critical" to containing the virus.
"That's how we'll get more zero days and have real confidence that our public health response is working," he said.
Testing queue wait times have dropped to an average of about an hour and a half.
Officials have urged anyone who attended specific exposure sites listed on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website to get tested immediately.
A number of stores have been put on high alert after the man visited the centre between 6am and 2pm.
The 10 stores have been listed on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website as potential acquisition sites, including Culture Kings, Huffer, JD Sports, Jay Jays, H&M, Uniqlo, Myer, Superdry, Footlocker and Dumplings Plus.
The health department will release more specific times on when the man visited the stores later today.
Victoria's COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar yesterday said health authorities have been tracking the man's phone movements around Chadstone.
"We're particularly interested in those who went to those stores on Boxing Day and who did not feel well — please come forward to get tested," he said.
"We will be identifying the time zones that the individual was in these stores."
Anyone who attended the locations during the times identified must get tested and self-quarantine until they receive a negative result, the DHHS website states.
The man and his close contacts are self-isolating, with the main concern being the source of the virus.
Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne is seen packed with customers. (Google Maps)
"We are trying to identify, a needle in a haystack exercise, of who might be positive," Mr Weimar said.
The man is not believed to have been infectious when he attended the cricket and Chadstone, however health officials believe he may have acquired the virus at the sites.
Up to 30,000 spectators were at the MCG for Day Two of the Boxing Day Test, with 2400 people inside Zone 5 where the man was seated.
People who sat within the Zone 5 bubble have received a test message advising them of the confirmed case and requesting they get tested.
The crowd enjoying the action on the first day of the Boxing Day Test match. (Photograph by Chris Hopkins)
"We're encouraging anyone who was at the cricket and who was seated in the Great Southern Stand, Zone 5, between 12.30pm and 3.30pm to go and get tested and isolate until they receive a result," Acting Premier Jacinta Allan said.
The man developed symptoms on December 30 and the health department was notified of his positive test result on January 5.
He stayed home from December 31 and then got tested.