Nine new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were confirmed yesterday - bringing the total number of cases in Victoria to 36. This includes Victoria's first recorded case of community transmission.

The new cases include 6 men and 3 women aged between 20-70. All cases are recovering at home in isolation. Of the 9 new cases, 7 have a history of international travel. Case interviews are still being completed with some cases.

One case has no history of travel or contact with a confirmed case - the first case of community transmission.

A confirmed case who attended the Golden Plains music festival was not unwell at the event. As a result, no further action is required by festival goers.

The Department of Health and Human Services last night confirmed that a member of the McLaren Formula One team tested positive to COVID-19. They are recovering in isolation. A further seven F1 team members tested for COVID-19 have all returned negative test results.

"There have been a number of new developments in the past 24 hours. This includes the positive test in a Formula One team member, the rapidly changing threat posed by the spread of the virus in Europe, and the cancellation and suspension of other mass gathering events around the world," Victoria's Chief Officer Professor Brett Sutton said.

"Through an abundance of caution, and after consultation with the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, I advised the Grand Prix Corporation not to allow spectators at the Australian Grand Prix, which has since been cancelled.

"My updated advice was based on other factors such as Victoria's first case of community transmission and the clear difficulty other countries are having containing COVID-19 without cancelling events.

"I am reviewing this rapidly evolving situation daily and will be discussing recommendations around future mass gatherings with my Federal and State counterparts at today's Australian Health Protection Principal Committee meeting.

"My advice will continue to be focused on doing whatever is necessary to minimise the spread of infection and keep Victorians safe."

Professor Sutton said we expect to see more and more cases of COVID-19 in Victoria.

"For the virus to spread, extended close personal contact is most likely required. But visitors to locations where cases have been should be aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Close personal contact is at least 15 minutes face-to-face or more than 2 hours in the same room," Professor Sutton said.

"At the moment, we urge the public to be mindful and take steps to minimise the risk of COVID-19.

"Everyone also has a role to play in protecting yourself and your family. Hands should be washed regularly with soap and water. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you are ill, stay at home."

The Department of Health and Human Services follows up and monitors all close contacts of confirmed cases and provides them with information and support. All close contacts must self-isolate for 14-days.

The table below is a summary of new confirmed public exposure sites. Anyone who was at any of these sites should be aware of their health and seek medical advice if they become unwell.

Date Time Location Onset of symptoms up to
9/03/2020 Departing at 12:00pm Qantas flight QF430 from Melbourne to Sydney 23/03/2020
9/03/2020 Departing at 6:00pm Qantas flight QF459 from Sydney to Melbourne 23/03/2020
10/03/2020 12:30pm - 2:00pm Mary Miller Café, Fitzroy North 24/03/2020
10/03/2020 8:00am - 9:30am No. 19, Ascot Vale 24/03/2020
10/03/2020 Arriving at 6:00am Emirates flight EK0406 from Dubai to Melbourne 24/03/2020

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has a hotline for public information on COVID-19 which is 1800 675 398. Large numbers of calls will result in some delays and we ask Victorians for their patience as we work to manage the volume. More information is also available at the DHHS website's Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) section.

Contact details