Victorians have embraced eased COVID-19 restrictions that allow outdoor activities such as golf. Image by Michael Dodge/AAP PHOTOS

Health

Vic cases up by 11 as people socialise

2020-05-17 17:20:19

Victorians have embraced the first weekend of eased COVID-19 restrictions that allow outdoor activities such as golf and up to five visitors to a home, as the Melbourne abattoir cluster grew to just under 100.

Saturday was a social day for many Victorians, but authorities again warned people to be vigilant about the virus.

“Even in an outdoor setting, even with your own family you have to have an awareness of the risk of transmission,” Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton warned.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said the health advice was still to be cautious, physically distant from others, and to get tested if unwell.

“It’s important everyone understands this pandemic is not yet over, we have a long way to go (and) it’s important people still take every possible precaution,” Ms Mikakos said.

The state recorded 11 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, with two belonging to the Cedar Meats cluster in Melbourne’s west.

Four others previously confirmed to have COVID-19 have also now been linked to the meat processing facility, bringing the cluster total to 98.

The state’s total number of virus cases is now 1554, with seven people in intensive care.

Elsewhere, a McDonald’s restaurant in the north Melbourne suburb of Fawkner has recorded an additional case, with the outlet’s cluster growing to 11.

The restaurant had been closed for deep cleaning but reopened on Wednesday with different staff.

A second McDonald’s was been closed for deep cleaning after a staff member at its Craigieburn premises tested positive.

Dr Sutton said the chances of a McDonald’s customer catching coronavirus from a staff member through “casual contact” was very low.

In preparation for schools reopening on May 26, Ms Mikakos said teachers are encouraged to get tested. Already 1200 teachers have done so. 

Victoria this week collected more than 56,000 swabs for coronavirus testing, surpassing the government’s goal for the week of 50,000.

Police issued 20 fines to people in breach of social distancing rules in the past 24 hours. 

A number of those fined had gathered at a fast-food restaurant car park in Noble Park about midnight, Victoria Police said.

There were also 36 people connected to the Lincoln Bakery Cafe in Carlton who contracted salmonella food poisoning. 

The cafe has been closed since May 8, with investigations taking place and no one with food poisoning in hospital, Dr Sutton confirmed.