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Fresh outbreak puts early lifting of Melbourne restrictions in doubt

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has cast doubt over foreshadowed plans to further lift coronavirus restrictions tomorrow amid a growing outbreak linked to north Melbourne schools.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has cast doubt on a foreshadowed announcement to further ease coronavirus restrictions on Sunday, saying it will all depend on the results of testing in the next 24 hours. (9News)

Speaking at his daily coronavirus press conference today, Mr Andrews said the results of testing currently underway across Melbourne’s northern suburbs would prove crucial to tomorrow’s announcement.

“I just want to caution people from, if you like, banking that tomorrow I’m making a whole series of detailed announcements about opening up,” Mr Andrews said.

“We do hope to get to that point, but with so many thousands of tests that are still being processed, we need to see the results of those tests.”

One of those is a student who attends East Preston Islamic College (EPIC) and another is a student at the nearby Croxton School.

The Croxton School student is a member of a family of four who have all now tested positive for coronavirus, including a sibling who attends EPIC, but contact tracers have so far been unable to link that family to the other EPIC cases.

The Croxton Specialist School in Northcote caters to students with mild intellectual disabilities. (Google Street View)

“That family of four are not connected to the households that we’ve been dealing with in the northern metro outbreak,” the head of Victoria’s coronavirus testing program, Jeroen Weimar, told the press conference.

“We’re still trying to establish the exact link, if any, between this new family of four and the wider metro north outbreak.”

Mr Andrews said he hoped today’s and tomorrow’s test results would enable authorities to link the current cases.

“There are thousands (of tests) in the lab right now that will be processed today and will come to us later on this evening,” Mr Andrews said.

“What we are hopeful of is that there are connections and linkages between these cases and these cases do not speak to the virus being in the northern suburbs more than we had thought.”

However, the premier maintained that the state remained in “a very good position”, saying “if we can proceed tomorrow, we will”.

Source: 9News

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