COVID-19 in Australia

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September 2021

Sat 25th - Sun 26th

An "illegal" house gathering takes place in Latrobe Valley, Victoria, and authorities are concerned more will follow. It is possible this took place due to a grand final taking place that weekend, but Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley says "We foreshadowed that this would be a high-risk environment in which, understandably, people want to share the passion and enthusiasm of a grand final, but it came at a huge risk [...] Whether this is a case of that or not, I've not been advised.". He also called the gathering "regrettable" and stated "As we said on many many occasions, people don't think it applies to them, but it just takes one case of this highly infectious Delta variant for these kinds of outbreaks to occur" .Mayor Sharon Gibson says "It wasn't the wisest way they could do things. I understand people wanted to get together for the grand final, but the way they went about things wasn't the wisest and now they're suffering the consequences, [...] We have been through this many times before and we know the drill [...] Do what you're supposed to — hygiene, your mask, QR codes — the more we can eliminate areas are of concern the better we'll be." [1]

Mon 27th

Latrobe Valley, Victoria enters a seven day lockdown as 18 cases have been recorded. The restrictions are the same as those in Melbourne, without the curfew. "Under the lockdown, it is only permitted to leave home for limited reasons: necessary goods and services, caregiving or compassionate reasons (including medical care and getting a COVID-19 test), authorized work or permitted education, exercise and outdoor social interaction in limited groups and getting a COVID-19 vaccine locally." says ABC News. People are allowed to have over an intimate partner or a single "social bubble buddy", shopping, exercise and outdoor is allowed in a 15 kilometer radius of one's house. The cases are said to be linked to the house gathering which happened the previous weekend. [2] Department of Health deputy secretary Kate Matson says "A number of these cases were unfortunately infectious in the community for a number of days and we're aware of a household gathering that occurred over the weekend".[1]

ABC News says in previous outbreaks the testing capacity of Latrobe Valley has been overwhelmed, so as a result pop-up COVID testing sites have been set up. On this Kate Matson said "We ask that if you're experiencing symptoms, or contacted as a close contact, that you do go and get tested [...] We ask that those people who aren't experiencing symptoms or haven't been contacted please hold as we increase capacity. [...] A rapid response testing unit has been deployed to the Traralgon Basketball Stadium and more pop-up testing will be emerging in the coming days." [1]

Tue 28th

At around 5pm today, Tweed area and Byron Shire governments have announced that their seven day lockdowns will be lifted. However, ABC News is saying Kempsey Shire is facing an extension. The New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard warned lockdowns may be imposed on Port Macquarie-Hastings and Muswellbrook, stating "These decisions are not made lightly, [...] There's more work to do and the public health team will be doing that work this afternoon, but I'm just putting the community on notice that there may be a further announcement today in regard to all three of those areas, or any one of those three areas. [...] We just need to make some final decisions. [...] In the meantime, my strong advice as Health Minister to all of the residents in those areas is to be very cautious where you are moving around at the moment, and to certainly go out and get vaccinated.". [3]

Around 8pm Port Macquarie-Hastings and Muswellbrook fall under a snap lockdown for seven days starting at 6:00PM tonight. Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams says "We have a tough seven days ahead, but our community have been down this path before, they understand what stay-at-home orders mean and, as usual, I know that they'll comply"[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Latrobe Valley sees sudden double-digit surge in COVID-19 cases,,
  2. Latrobe Valley enters seven-day COVID-19 lockdown as more cases emerge,,au,
  3. Tweed Heads, Byron Bay to exit lockdown as Kempsey faces extension and Port Macquarie put 'on notice',,
  4. Port Macquarie-Hastings, Muswellbrook under snap lockdown for seven days,,