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Victoria records three new locally acquired coronavirus cases as testing rates remain high

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Victoria has recorded three new locally acquired coronavirus cases for a third straight day, and another strong testing figure.

A total of four new infections have been reported in Victoria on Tuesday, including one case in hotel quarantine.

The new cases came from 32,544 tests, a marginal increase from Monday’s figure with wait times reducing significantly as testing capacity ramped up further.

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The state’s number of active cases stands at 38.

The daily update comes as a stranded family with a disabled child and another with special needs remain among the thousands of Victorians seeking an exemption to return from NSW.

More than 2300 applications have been made for exemptions to cross the NSW border after it slammed shut on Friday night, with only 175 processed on Sunday.

Testing commander Jeroen Weimar said medical exemptions are being processed quickly but others are taking 24 to 48 hours.

Former federal Labor leader Bill Shorten has revealed a family stuck on the NSW south coast contacted him in a bid to expedite their border exemption.

“I’ve been dealing with a constituent of mine,” Mr Shorten told Nine’s Today.

“Her and her husband they’ve got a disabled child and another child with special needs.

“Far better to have this child, this 11-year-old, looked (after) at home, rather than stuck in south coast NSW.”

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The former federal opposition leader said he would be “hitting the phones” on Tuesday to ensure their exemption was sorted out.

He said the exemption system “doesn’t seem to be working the way it should” and implored Victoria’s health department to speed up the assessment process.

“Let’s just get it done quickly,” Mr Shorten said.

“A whole lot of Victorians on holiday (have been) caught off guard, no chance to sort this out.

“We need now the administrative follow-up to help make sure people are not stranded in some really tough circumstances, like the lady I’m talking about.”

Victorian health authorities are confident the Black Rock coronavirus cluster is on a “very positive trajectory”.

As of Monday, 24 cases were directly linked to the outbreak – all connected to the Buffalo Smile Thai restaurant in bayside Melbourne and linked back to a cluster in NSW.

More than 1000 primary and secondary contacts are isolating and a growing number of exposure sites have been identified.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

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Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSWVictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania.

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