Geelong records five new cases

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton

By Luke Voogt

Geelong has recorded five new COVID-19 cases ahead of the city’s planned exit from lockdown on Sunday.

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed the cases in a press conference today.

The new cases throw the planned exit from lockdown into doubt, with Health Minister Martin Foley declining to state if restrictions will still ease on time in Geelong and the Surf Coast.

“It’s a matter for the public health team as to how that works,” Mr Foley said.

“We’ve seen a really really strong effort from the Barwon community around vaccines and testing.

“It’s always the story behind the numbers, the locations, the exposure sites, were they isolating, what their contacts are.

“We’ll have more to say about that once the public health team provide us that advice.

“The sooner we can give the people of Geelong and the Surf Coast the certainty they’re looking for, we certainly will.”

Two of the new cases were recorded yesterday in the 3212 postcode, which includes Lara, along with one each in the postcodes of 3215, 3220 and 3226.

The new cases come as vandals targeted Geelong COVID-19 testing sites with foul and offensive graffiti and misinformation last night.

Police are investigating the graffiti at testing sites at Australian Clinical Labs and Kardinia Health in Belmont.

“There were some graffiti attacks at some Barwon Health sites,” Mr Foley said.

“[It is] just silly, ill-advised and, frankly, just dumb.”

Mr Foley also slammed Melbourne protesters, including neo Nazis and conspiracy theorists, for abusing healthcare workers and desecrating the Shrine of Remembrance this week.

“These people are not heroes, they need to pull their head in,” he said.

“These people are losing oxygen every day because the Victorian community does not support their behaviour.”

Dr Sutton described the protests as “a total insult” to the majority of Victorians doing the right thing.

“They are literally in a fantasy world,” he said.

“Let’s not pretend these are rational individuals, they’re whacky.

Moorabool Shire, to Geelong’s north, also recorded two new cases.