The Victorian lockdown will not be lifted tomorrow night as many had hoped, as testing continues for thousands of close contacts while 13 new positive COVID-19 results take the total number of active cases in the state to 72.
Premier Daniel Andrews thanked the 55,000 Victorians who came forward for testing yesterday, but with more than 250 exposure sites stretching from "Phillip Island to the Mallee" as well as the first coronavirus case in Mildura since March last year, he is not taking any chances.
There are now 15,800 primary close contacts in connection to the current outbreak, including 3,000 linked to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), 1,800 connected to AAMI Park, 2,300 related to Trinity Grammar, 2,700 linked to Bacchus Marsh Grammar and 540 connected to the restaurant Ms. Frankie.
Tests or tests results are still pending for large percentages of these groups of people, from around 50 per cent who attended an AFL game at the MCG to 24 per cent remaining for the Bacchus Marsh school cohort.
"What we know with [the variant] Delta is an hour's like a day and a day's like a week in some ways," the Premier says.
"We see in Sydney how fast it's moving, and indeed right here. If it's smouldering, then it will run off again, it will take off again.
"Knowing what we know now, lockdown was the right course - that was the right call at the right time. It was and remains very challenging but we will not be ready to lift this lockdown at midnight tomorrow night."
Andrews acknowledges it is frustrating not being able to tell the public exactly what the rules will be and what timeframe will exist after midnight tomorrow, but that will all depend on the interviews taking place over the course of today and conclusions reached by health experts tonight or tomorrow morning.
"The Chief Health Officer will provide advice to me and my senior colleagues," he says.
Updated at 12:12pm AEST on 19 July 2021.
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