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Victoria’s Chadstone cluster grows as state records 12 new coronavirus cases

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The cluster now comprises 20 people, including six staff, eight family or household members, two customers and four others who were at the Chadstone Shopping Centre.

Victoria's COVID-19 cluster linked to the Chadstone Shopping Centre has spread to one of the state's regional zones, with a cafe in Kilmore added to the list of high-risk locations.

Victoria today recorded 12 new cases of coronavirus and one death. The 14-day case average for Melbourne has dropped below 12.

There are still 13 cases without a known sources in the metro area.

The Butcher Club store at Chadstone was back in business today, but the cluster linked to the store continues to grow with three new cases identified, including one in the Mitchell Shire.

The cluster now comprises 20 people, including six staff, eight family or household members, two customers and four other people who were at the shopping centre.

"It is a point to note that regional Victoria will remain at risk while there are still essential workers who need to move into regional Victoria and the close contacts that occurred by virtue of that," Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton said.

"We are all trying to protect regional Victoria from any new cases, but we have to remember that regional Victorians still need to get tested if they are symptomatic and they still need to be mindful of the ways they can protect themselves."

None of the new cases were identified by the COVIDSafe mobile app and authorities don't believe any are linked to a vocal protest held at Chadstone Shopping Centre a fortnight ago.

READ MORE: Melbourne beaches could close after dozens of coronavirus breaches

Premier Daniel Andrews today said there are now 241 active cases in Victoria with six of the twelve new cases linked to known sources and six under investigation.

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The new death is a man aged in his 80s, linked to the aged care outbreak.

Mr Andrews warned Victorians to "stay on course" after several fines were issued yesterday due to social distancing breaches at beaches and public parks.

"We've just got to stay the course on this. We are so, so close — let's not any of us do anything that might undermine the very positive numbers, the very strong performance we have seen in recent days," Mr Andrews said today.

"The numbers are coming down, once we get them low, we can keep them low and we can open up again."

Melbourne councils have threatened to close local beaches to the public after crowds were seen ignoring social distancing rules to escape the unseasonable heat.

READ MORE: Unseasonably warm weather continues for east coast

Hundreds flocked to the St Kilda foreshore yesterday, ignoring coronavirus rules as temperatures remained in the 20s well into the evening.

The crowds also gathered in parks and outdoor recreational areas, with many drinking alcohol and failing to wear masks as per current health regulations.

Mr Andrews said if people didn't do anything "silly or stupid" now, then Victorians would be able to continue to go to the beach this summer.

"I want to thank all those Victorians who were going to the beach and did so in full accordance with the rules, all of those Victorians who went to the park, who followed the rules and were able to connect with others, were able to get some sunshine and some fresh air, heavens knows Victorians have earned it, but it has got to be done in the right way," Mr Andrews said.

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St Kilda Beach Saturday October 3, 2020.

"If we try to shortcut this thing — we will be back where we were weeks and months ago when we were reporting 725 cases."

READ MORE: Melbourne's roadmap out of lockdow

Victoria on-track to reopen, but borders to stay closed

Dr Sutton said while numbers are higher in the state than yesterday, Victoria is still on track for reopening.

"I would say we are seeing (improvement) in hospitalised cases, we have only got one patient in ICU on a ventilator, only three in intensive care in total," he said.

Dr Sutton also confirmed that another three of today's cases are linked to a medical centre at Ashwood.

Coronavirus: Victoria records 12 new cases and one death

Mr Andrews said as much as he wants borders to reopen, the numbers aren't safe enough to do so just yet.

"It's not safe to open up. We need regional Victoria to be in a position where they can have that movement, potentially, to other jurisdictions," Mr Andrews said.

"Western Australia has obviously made a judgement about not requiring a mandatory quarantine period in a hotel for Victoria. That is because of where we have got to."

You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

Beyond Blue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800512348.

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Source: 9News

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