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Protester tests positive to COVID-19

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A demonstrator who attended a Black Lives Matter protest in Melbourne on Saturday, a toddler and an aged care worker are among new coronavirus cases.

A demonstrator who attended the Black Lives Matter protest in Melbourne last Saturday has tested positive for coronavirus as fears over a potential outbreak from the mass gathering continue to grow.

The man in his 30s was "potentially infectious" at the rally as he developed symptoms 24 hours after the event.

However, Victorian Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said the case was "unlikely" to have been acquired at the protest due to the short time frame of the man being symptomatic.

He stressed there would be a "significant investigation" into the man's movements.

"The individual did wear a mask, they were not symptomatic at the time," he said. 

"The lesson about warning people not to attend applies.

"The lesson here is it's not over for Victoria, it's not over for Australia."

More than 10,000 people gathered at the Black Lives Matter protest in Melbourne's CBD on Saturday afternoon, despite several orders to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said it was "unfortunate" the rallies went ahead despite the advice of health officials.

"What we have been absolutely clear about is that people shouldn't have gathered in those numbers for those rallies," Mr Frydenberg said.

"In doing so, they put the broader community's health at risk.

"That was the obvious message from the medical experts about those rallies."

In a statement, the Department of Health said authorities were undertaking contact tracing and any close contacts would be tested and required to quarantine for 14 days.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told 3AW's Neil Mitchell there was "no doubt" the federal government would have considered easing COVID-19 restrictions sooner, if it weren't for the protests last weekend.

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He also called for charges if further protests went ahead.

"I really do think they should (be charged)," he said.

"It's a free country and we have our liberties but the price of that liberty is exercising it responsibly."

Victoria has recorded eight new cases of coronavirus, bringing the state's total to 1699.

Other new cases include a close contact linked to the COVID-19 outbreak at the Rydges hotel on Swanston Street, a toddler who attends Professor Lynn Corcoran Early Learning Centre in Parkville and a staff member from Bupa Aged Care in Clayton.

Prof. Sutton said the childcare centre had been closed for 24 hours to undergo a deep clean.

"Everyone will be tested, staff and children," he said.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-victoria-melbourne-man-attended-black-lives-matter-protest-diagnosed-covid19/50255ba3-b54b-4482-b5ec-ac112610aa9c

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