Pub deep cleaned after positive case

The Victorian pub caught up in the statewide Covid-19 outbreak has responded after it was revealed a positive case may have caught the virus while visiting.

A positive Covid-19 case likely caught the virus while visiting a Victorian pub, health authorities have revealed, and the boss of the venue says they are now working with contact tracers.

Four new local infections have been recorded, with the state’s Covid response commander Jeroen Weimar saying one of Thursday’s positive infections was believed to have contracted the virus at the Sporting Globe in Mordialloc.

The pub at 590 Main Street has been listed as a public exposure site from 6.17pm to 9.43pm on May 23 due to a positive case being at the venue.

Signature Hospitality Group chief executive James Sinclar, who owns the Sporting Globe, said the venue had provided their full booking list and other relevant information to the Department of Health and Human Services, and Monash Health for the date in question.

Mr Sinclair said employees working in the aforementioned time frame had returned negative tests and had gone into the mandatory 14-day isolation.

“On the date and time in question it was a usual dining service with all customers seated,” Mr Sinclair said.

“As most would understand, the hospitality industry is at the forefront of those that stand to be negatively impacted by the outcomes of lockdowns, including snap lockdowns.”

All of the new cases were linked to the Whittlesea cluster, with the total number of cases in the latest outbreak ballooning to 30.

The health department also confirmed two new cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine, bringing the number of active cases in the state to 39.

More than 47,400 Victorians were tested in the past 24 hours, while 17,223 vaccine doses were also administered.

Mr Sinclair said the pub had undergone a deep clean and would re-open following approval from DHHS.

He said the Sporting Globe team took the health and safety of customers very seriously.

Earlier, Mr Weimar said other venues of concern included the The Three Monkeys and Somewhere Bar in Chapel Street in Prahran, The Local in Port Melbourne and The Palace Hotel in South Melbourne.

“We believe they caught the infection then … so we now see the significant risk, in particular, at those social venues, the bars and clubs,” he said.

“We are very keen to ensure people who have been to those places at those times come forward very quickly.

“If you have been to those locations, if you have been out partying with somebody who was Covid positive at the same time with you in that space, it is important we identify who you are and get you tested and make sure you isolate.

“They are a particular concern to us because essentially, they are clubs, social contacts, places where we expect to see significant numbers of people in proximity, dancing, singing, doing what they do.

“One of those locations we have now had one case of confirmed community transmission. Obviously what we are keen to exclude as quickly as we can is whether there has been any other community transmission of those other venues.”

Since Monday, cases have spread from Whittlesea in Melbourne’s north to Casey in the outer southeast, Melton in the western suburbs and inner city suburbs such as Port Phillip, Stonnington and Boroondara.

More than 120 venues have now been listed as public exposure sites, while the department has identified about 15,000 contacts of positive cases that are either required to quarantine for 14 days, or test and isolate until they receive a negative result.

Authorities said the four exposure sites at nightclubs in Prahran and South Yarra remained a significant concern, with health officials urging revellers to come forward or advise of any friends who they know visited the sites.

Acting Premier James Merlino warned on Thursday the outbreak would become “increasingly uncontrollable” unless authorities did something “drastic” to stop it.

“If we make the wrong choice now, if we wait too long, this thing will get away from us,” he said.

“This kind of short, sharp action is effective in stopping this thing in its tracks.”

Anyone who has symptoms of Covid-19 – such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, chills, sweats or a change in sense of smell or taste – has been urged to get tested immediately.

Victorians can now only leave their home for one of five reasons for at least the next seven days.

More than 120 venues have also been listed as Covid public exposure sites.

jack.paynter@news.com.au

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