A man who attended Melbourne’s Black Lives Matter protest has tested positive for COVID-19

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A man who attended Melbourne’s Black Lives Matter protest has tested positive for COVID-19

Photo by Kon Karampelas
Words by Kate Streader

The state’s Chief Health Officer says it’s “very unlikely” the man contracted the virus at the protest.

A man has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a Black Lives Matter protest alongside approximately 10,000 Melburnians on Saturday. He is one of eight new coronavirus cases recorded in Victoria overnight.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton discussed the case in a press conference today, explaining that while the man developed symptoms within 24 hours of attending the rally it is “very unlikely” that he acquired it at the protest.

“Normally people develop symptoms four to six days after being exposed to coronavirus, as you know, up to 14 days the incubation period can be,” explained Sutton. “So it would be very unlikely that it’s been acquired from attending the protest.”

“The individual did wear a mask, they weren’t symptomatic at the time, but we will go through the normal process of identifying anyone who is defined as a close contact – so, people who have had more than 15 minutes face-to-face contact with that individual – they will all be required to quarantine,” he said.

“Within 24 hours, there is the possibility of being infectious before you develop symptoms,” explained the CHO. “How infectious someone is is not clear, but it is known that people can transmit the virus within 24 hours of developing symptoms, so that’s a concern. It’s obviously helpful that that person wore a mask, but masks are not 100 per cent protection.”

However, Sutton said there is no reason for attendees to self-isolate unless symptoms arise and urged anyone with symptoms, no matter how mild, to get tested.

Visit the VDHHS website for more information about testing.

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