Among the families, there are 39 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and 25 close contacts.
For the first time since June 9, no new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Victoria overnight, while the average of 14 days in Melbourne decreased to just 3.6 new cases per day.
Confirmation of the link between the outbreak came hours after Prime Minister Daniel Andrews delayed his highly anticipated announcement about the next stages of Melbourne’s reopening on Sunday, sparking a storm of criticism led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former Health Minister Victoria Jenny Mikakos.
Mr Morrison once again criticized the prime minister, saying he was deeply disappointed by the delay, adding that Victoria’s public health systems “are either up to the task of dealing with future outbreaks or they are not.”
Mikakos said the decision indicated a “decision-making paralysis” in the Victorian government. There was also criticism from business groups who said the delay was a blow to confidence and jobs.
The prime minister said the government needs to wait for the results of thousands of tests before it can be sure to allow shopping and eating again.
Andrews is awaiting the results of around 500-700 tests before holding his daily press conference this afternoon.
Government hopes for an early reopening were boosted late Sunday as negative results returned for more than 1,100 tests taken in the northern suburbs.
More than 15,000 swabs have been taken across the five northern local government districts of Hume, Morland, Banyol, Darbin and Nilumbeek since October 20 to test the level of community transmission in Melbourne.
Victoria’s Test and Community Engagement Leader, Jeroen Weimar, said 2,100 test results were processed on Sunday and the test continued until evening.
Weimar said the absence of new cases emerging from those tests was a “good development”.
The family is in the middle of the northern suburbs pool Age On Sunday, the Department of Health and Human Services allowed them to leave their homes two days before one of their children was inadvertently enrolled in school while infected, and did not explicitly warn that the young boy should remain in isolation.
The family, who requested anonymity for privacy reasons, expressed their frustration with the Department of Health and Human Services, saying that the administration spread confusion and misinformation about their circumstances and refused to accept responsibility for the mishandling of their case.
Mr Weimar questioned the family’s account on Monday morning.
“I will be very clear about this – there was no error in communicating from my colleagues with the family,” he told 3AW radio.
“We checked the correspondence … and the contacts.”
Anyone displaying symptoms or identified in close contact is urged to undergo testing, with testing sites available across the northern suburbs, including schools, local parks, malls and in traditional health venues.
There are currently 39 cases linked to the outbreak, including those associated with East Preston Islamic College and Crockston Private School.
Staff working on a ward at Box Hill Hospital were told that they are not permitted to use high protection N95 masks as a precaution against illness, Age Revealed earlier this month.
A leaked email exchange showed that the hospital supply of N95 masks had been reserved for those working with high-risk patients, and others were not allowed to wear them “even if they bought one.”
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Melissa Cunningham is The Age Health Correspondent.