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Victoria records two 'likely positive cases' of COVID-19 in Melbourne's northern suburbs

Health authorities are interviewing two people from Melbourne's northern suburbs after they tested positive to coronavirus, days after a call for increased testing in the Epping and Wollert areas following an exposure site mix-up.

Victorian health authorities have reported two "likely positive cases" of COVID-19 in Melbourne's northern suburbs.

Key points:
  • The two people are in isolation and being interviewed
  • They are also being urgently retested to confirm the positive result
  • Authorities had ramped up testing in Epping after a mix-up with exposure sites for a previous positive case

"It's currently understood the two individuals are connected," the Department of Health said in a tweet.

"A full investigation is underway into these results, and initial public health actions are being put in place while both individuals isolate and are urgently retested.

"We will communicate any specific public health actions the community needs to undertake as soon as possible when investigations and case interviews are complete."

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It comes after authorities ramped up testing in Epping following a mix-up with the exposure sites for a positive case who returned to Melbourne earlier this month.

Authorities had listed the Woolworths at Epping, when it should have been the Woolworths at Epping North.

The outside of Woolworths Epping North on a blue-sky day.The outside of Woolworths Epping North on a blue-sky day.
The Epping North Woolworths store on the corner of Epping Road and Lyndarum Drive was listed as an exposure site on Friday.(

ABC News: Nicole Asher

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On Sunday, authorities were still waiting for test results from three people linked to that exposure site, while 10 others had returned negative results.

On Friday, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton revealed traces of COVID-19 had been detected in the Epping and Wollert area and urged residents with the slightest symptoms to get tested.

Health authorities are expected to hold a press conference this afternoon to provide more information.

'Too soon' to know how likely cases may be linked to past case or exposure site

Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said retesting would help authorities determine if the likely cases could be confirmed as positive.

"As we receive more information from those investigations and from those interviews we will be updating the Victorian community on whether those likely cases have become positive or negative, and also any information that needs to be provided, for example any potential exposure sites," she said.

Read our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic

Ms Allan said the Victorian Cabinet would meet today when they would get a regular update on the COVID-19 situation in Victoria.

She could not confirm whether the cases were linked to the mix-up of exposure sites over the weekend, where the Epping Woolworths was listed when it should have been the Epping North Woolworths store.

"It's too soon to draw any conclusions about the connection between these two cases and previous cases, that's the role the public health team play by working very hard to get this information," Ms Allan said.

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