3000 Melburnians are locked in their homes immediately as Victoria orders Australia’s first total shutdown after recording 108 positive COVID-19 tests in second worst daily spike since pandemic started
- Nine public housing towers in two post codes will go into ‘hard’ lockdowns
- No one will be allowed to leave their units ‘for any reason’, Daniel Andrews said
- Victoria has reported 108 coronavirus infections in second biggest spike ever
- Only bigger jump in daily totals was on March 28, when 111 cases were reported
- Stay at home orders for everyone from midnight tonight in 3031 and 3051
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced an unprecedented total lockdown of nine public housing towers in Melbourne where residents will be confined to their homes for at least five days.
It comes as the state reported 108 new infections on Saturday – its second highest coronavirus daily total ever – as Mr Andrews announced he was extending stay-at-home orders for two further post codes.
High density public housing towers in 3031 (Flemington, Kensington) and 3051 (North Melbourne) will go into a ‘hard’ lockdown where residents will be barred from leaving their homes for any reason whatsoever.
‘There will be no-one going in, other than residents who are returning home, and no-one will be allowed out of those public housing towers,’ Mr Andrews said.
Other residents of those two post codes will be ordered to stay at home under standard conditions, where they may leave home to buy food, go to work, seek medical assistance or care for others.
That ‘normal’ lockdown begins from 11.59pm on Saturday night.
Premier Daniel Andrews made the dramatic announcement at a press conference on Saturday
TOTAL LOCKDOWN: These public housing tower at 12 Holland Court Rd and 120 Racecourse Rad, Flemington will go into a ‘hard’ lockdown where residents will be confined to their homes
COVID-19 drive-thru test queues at a Melbourne shopping centre on Saturday. There are now 38 suburbs under stay at home orders, plus nine public housing towers in hard lockdown
Police officers on patrol the hotspot suburb of Glenroy in Melbourne on Saturday
Premier Daniel Andrews said the hard public housing lockdowns will affect approximately 3000 residents who live in 1,345 units.
‘You will not be allowed to leave your unit, your dwelling within that tower for any reason,’ the premier said.
About 500 police will be deployed across the nine towers during each shift, or about 55 officers per unit.
A ‘total’ or ‘hard’ lockdown where residents are completely confined to their homes is a first for Australia during the pandemic.
It has echoes of Wuhan residents being sealed in their homes during the first outbreak of the pandemic.
The announcement raised immediate questions about how residents will meet their basic needs.
In Flemington, the high density complexes at 12 Holland Court, 120 Racecourse Road, 126 Racecourse Road (pictured) and 130 Racecourse Road will go into hard lockdown immediately
Mr Andrews explained 23 coronavirus cases have been recorded across more than 12 households in Flemington and North Melbourne public housing estates in recent days. Pictured: 130 Racecourse Road Flemington which is in immediate lockdown
Pictured: Pop up testing centre in the hotspot suburb of Brunswick West on Saturday
A general view of Racecourse Road in Flemington, Melbourne, on Saturday, as it’s announced the suburb will be put into lockdown
Mr Andrews said food and supply delivery and planning had already started for residents. ‘We will take care of you,’ he said.
‘Whether it be physical health, mental health, food, supplies, all of those sorts of issues will be dealt with and we’re confident … that work has already started.’
VICTORIA’S HARD LOCKDOWN
Nine public housing towers in Melbourne are in immediate lockdown for at least five days.
Flemington: The high density complexes at 12 Holland Court, 120 Racecourse Road, 126 Racecourse Road and 130 Racecourse Road.
North Melbourne: 12 Sutton Street, 33 Alfred Street, 76 Canning Street, 159 Melrose Street and 9 Pampas Street.
Premier Daniel Andrews said 23 coronavirus cases have been recorded across more than 12 households in Flemington and North Melbourne public housing estates in recent days.
In Flemington, the high density complexes at 12 Holland Court, 120 Racecourse Road, 126 Racecourse Road and 130 Racecourse Road will go into hard lockdown immediately.
Likewise in North Melbourne, 12 Sutton Street, 33 Alfred Street, 76 Canning Street, 159 Melrose Street and 9 Pampas Street will go into hard lockdown also.
Mr Andrews explained 23 coronavirus cases have been recorded across more than 12 households in Flemington and North Melbourne public housing estates in recent days.
‘This represents a challenge we’ve not yet encountered. This is not like an outbreak spread across multiple homes or multiple suburbs,’ he said.
‘The close confines and the shared community spaces within these large apartment blocks means this virus can spread like wildfire.
‘And just like fire, we need to put a perimeter around it to stop it from spreading.’
Police patrol the hotspot suburb of Glenroy – one of dozens of suburbs to have gone into localised lockdown during Victoria’s second wave
A boarded up St Vincent’s De Paul op shop in the locked down hot spot of Glenroy
Mr Andrews announced he was extending stay-at-home orders for two further post codes 3031 (Flemington, Kensington) and 3051 (North Melbourne)
The remaining residents in postcodes 3031 and 3051 must ‘stay at home’ wherever possible.
‘There’s only four reasons to be out. Again, shopping for food and essential items. Care and caregiving. Exercise. Work and study – if you can’t do it from home,’ he said.
‘These postcodes are experiencing elevated community transmission – and the only way to combat that is with stronger restrictions.
‘But it’s not just enough to impose them. We need people to abide by them. To follow the rules. To listen to the advice.’
Victoria has only reported a bigger spike once before, with 111 coronavirus infections on March 28, during the height of the pandemic.
‘As these figures show, we are still on a knife’s edge. Rather than spread across the state, we know many of these cases are located in specific communities,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘That means the need for targeted, swift action is stronger than ever before.’
Pictured: Health workers are seen at a coronvirus testing clinic in Brunswick West, Melbourne, on Saturday
Dozens of Melburnians line for a COVID-19 swab in Brunswick West on Saturday
There are 509 active cases with 25 people in hospital and three in intensive care.
There are now 38 Melbourne suburbs in localised lockdowns after massive outbreaks in the city’s northern and western suburbs.
It comes amid growing fears the pandemic will easily spread around the country from the nation’s second biggest city.
Already on Saturday, a traveller from Melbourne on board an XPT train was detained after suffering COVID-19 like symptoms.
It comes as two Kmart stores, in Barkly Square, Brunswick, and another in Footscray closed after staff members tested positive on Saturday.
Both discount variety stores are being closed for deep cleaning.
Which suburbs are in lockdown?
3012 – Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray
3021 – Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans
3032 – Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore
3038 – Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens
3042 – Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie
3046 – Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park
3047 – Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana
3055 – Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West
3060 – Fawkner
3064 – Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickelham, Roxburgh Park, Kalkallo
FROM 11.59 ON SATURDAY JULY 4:
3031 – Flemington, Kensington
3051 – North Melbourne
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