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Relief as Victoria records no new local coronavirus cases

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Victoria has recorded no new local COVID-19 cases, two days after a man tested positive in the state.

The news comes after more than 21,900 tests were received as confidence grows that the state’s coronavirus scare has been contained.

The Melbourne man who tested positive after returning from Adelaide will remain in isolation for two weeks.

 

Genomic testing has confirmed the man was infected in hotel quarantine in South Australia last week.

Meanwhile, health authorities say more than 40 tests from Tier 1 exposure sites have come back negative for coronavirus.

Twelve exposure sites have been identified in Melbourne — including a CBD restaurant, grocery shops and convenience stores in Epping, and two train services that are believed to have taken people from the football at the MCG on Friday night.

The state government has said it will step up compliance checks on businesses after it emerged that several patrons who attended a CBD restaurant alongside the infectious man on Friday night did not use the QR check-in system.

Health Minister Martin Foley warned people will soon face tough penalties if they fail to check in with QR codes at venues.

South Australian authorities earlier barred travellers from entering the state if they had visited any of Victoria’s high-risk exposure sites, with few exceptions.

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It came as Victorian health colleagues scrambled to track down hundreds of fans who went to last Friday’s AFL match on the same train as the infected man from Wollert, located 26km north of Melbourne’s CBD.

There are fears hordes may have been exposed to the virus on the Craigieburn line train while travelling to or from the Geelong-Richmond match at the MCG.

The AFL sent text message alerts to all 54,857 spectators.

The infected man was staying in a room next to another person who tested positive before being moved to a medi-hotel.

In a statement late on Wednesday, SA Chief Health Officer Nicola Spurrier confirmed the two cases had been genomically linked.

“Investigations into the precise cause of transmission are ongoing,” she said.

Professor Spurrier said discharged returned travellers on level three of the Playford Hotel during the “period of concern” must now isolate for a further two weeks.

The group includes 10 South Australians who will be given the option to quarantine at home if deemed suitable.

Prof Spurrier stressed most medi-hotel staff working at the time of the suspected leak had undergone daily testing, although five still need to be followed up.

There have been no locally acquired cases of coronavirus in Victoria for 76 days.

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-with AAP

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