Victoria records no new local cases of coronavirus, one in hotel quarantine

Victoria has recorded no new locally acquired cases of coronavirus, a day after COVID-19 viral fragments were detected in wastewater samples from three parts of the state.

There was just one case detected in overseas travellers staying in hotel quarantine, taking the state’s total to 23 active cases, all of which are in hotel isolation.

There were 13,702 tests processed in Victoria on Friday.

The stretch of COVID-free days has now hit 24 days, and comes a day after coronavirus viral fragments were detected in wastewater samples in three different parts of regional Victoria.

Traces of COVID-19 were discovered in Gisborne in the Macedon Ranges, Hamilton in the state’s south-west and Leongatha in South Gippsland on Friday, as the government extended the state of emergency for the 12th time since last March.

“The detection of viral fragments was unexpected given there had been no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in these communities at the time but it can take several weeks for someone to stop shedding the virus,” said the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Department of Health and Human Services is urging anyone who lives in or has visited Gisborne from January 24 to 26 to get tested, no matter how mild their symptoms. The same applies for people were in Hamilton between January 25 and January 27.

Victoria has now eased its border restrictions with NSW, with the local government area of Cumberland in Sydney’s west, being downgraded from a red zone to an orange zone on Friday night.

People who travel to Victoria from Cumberland will now only need to self-isolate on arrival, get tested within 72 hours and remain in quarantine until they get a negative result.

All of the Greater Sydney LGAs of Blacktown, Burwood, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, Inner West, Parramatta, Strathfield and Liverpool which had been classified as orange zones will now turn green.



Wollongong and the Blue Mountains will also move to being a green zone, meaning people entering Victoria from these areas will need to get tested if they have any symptoms at all.

Premier Daniel Andrews said on Friday he was “extremely happy to see the last red zone in New South Wales be downgraded”.

“We’re reminding people to get tested if they’re returning from an orange zone, so we can continue to enjoy an open and COVIDSafe summer.”

Australia has reached 12 days without community transmission of the virus, and intensive care units around the country remain free of COVID-19 patients.

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