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Victoria investigating four new COVID-19 cases as states call emergency meeting

Victoria has reported four new COVID-19 cases from the same household, with authorities still investigating where they picked up the virus.

The infections were detected in the 24 hours to midnight on Wednesday as Melbourne and regional Victoria prepare to move to eased restrictions from 11.59pm on Thursday.

The Department of Health said the cases were from the same household and “investigations into acquisition source are underway”.

There are now 78 active cases across the state, down five from Wednesday.

Some 23,679 Victorians were tested on Wednesday and 20,784 received a vaccine dose at state-run sites.

It comes after Victorian health authorities held an emergency meeting with their Queensland and NSW counterparts over a woman who tested positive and travelled interstate.

The woman left Melbourne with her husband on June 1, when the city was in lockdown, and tested positive at the end of a road trip through NSW and into Queensland.

Separately, three people were caught flying into New Zealand last week, after leaving Melbourne during the lockdown and trying to enter the country via Sydney.

The trio, understood to be a family who planned to attend a funeral, are now in quarantine after they were caught on arrival in Auckland.

While those travellers have tested negative so far the woman tested positive on Wednesday, putting regional centres in NSW and Queensland on alert.

Victoria’s health department confirmed an emergency meeting of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee was held on Wednesday night about the case.

The woman and her husband had departed from an unidentified suburb on the edge of greater Melbourne.

They then travelled through regional Victoria, crossed the border into NSW where they visited regional centres, and then entered Queensland on June 5 – two days after she started showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said it was possible the woman was infectious from the day she left Melbourne.

Six close contacts of the woman have been identified so far, including her husband who has to date tested negative. The couple is now at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

Meanwhile, Melbourne’s extended “circuit breaker” lockdown is expected to cease at 11.59pm on Thursday, meaning people will be free to leave home for any reason.

But Melburnians will need to remain within 25km of their homes, unless working or studying, caregiving or getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Acting Premier James Merlino said the measure was in place to keep Melbourne residents out of regional areas over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

Restrictions will also ease further for regional Victoria from Friday.

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