Regional Victoria joins Melbourne in lockdown after sewage testing reveals Covid-19 in state's northeast

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Victoria will enter a seven-day lockdown. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Nicki ConnollySource:News Corp Australia

Regional Victoria is joining Melbourne in a lockdown after wastewater testing detected Covid-19 in the state’s northeast.

Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Thursday that the virus was discovered in Wangaratta, some 250km from Melbourne.

“The Wangaratta sewage test has pinged,” he said.

“Firstly positive, then it went negative, now it’s gone positive again.

“We have some reason to believe that there is Covid either in that community or has been in that community.”

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Premier Daniel Andrews announces a snap seven day lockdown. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Nicki ConnollySource:News Corp Australia

Mr Andrews said it was only a few weeks ago that the virus spread from Melbourne “all the way up to Mildura”.

“We all have to work as hard as we can to avoid this spreading any further than it already has, but I don’t get the luxury — we don’t get the luxury — of assuming we have all of the knowns — that we know everything about this,” he said.

“We’ve always got to assume there are more cases out there than we have positive test results, and with one sewerage detection we have to assume that there are cases.

“So that’s why it’s statewide and I think as painful as it is, and as counterintuitive sometimes as it is, we don’t want this taking a hold in country Victoria — we just don’t.

“None of us are happy to be here … but these are the realities we face and none of us have the luxury of ignoring them.”

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