HomeMelbourne Cup 2021: Party sparks fears of Covid-19 spread

Melbourne Cup 2021: Party sparks fears of Covid-19 spread

A Melbourne Cup after-party has emerged as a possible super-spreader event and prompted an investigation by health officials.

Attendees at a ritzy Melbourne Cup after-party have been told to be alert for Covid-19 symptoms after a positive case was linked to the gathering.

Ozzie Kheir, one of the owners of winning horse Verry Elleegant, has told media outlets he tested positive for Covid-19 last Friday and that several of his friends and family members had been tested as well.

There were reports others who attended the wild celebration at Melbourne’s Society restaurant had been infected, however officials would not confirm whether there were any more cases.

The crowd of about 100 people were put on alert by Victorian health officials who said they should watch out if Covid-19 symptoms appear.

Footage from the party showed people embracing, dancing and shaking hands as they celebrated Verry Elleegant’s win.

Co-owner Brae Sokolski told a Melbourne radio station he had tested negative.

A Victorian health department spokesman said restaurants were generally not considered “high-risk” for coronavirus transmission because everyone who enters them have to be vaccinated, and other Covid-19 safe measures are in place as well.

“Investigations are currently underway into COVID-19 exposure at Society restaurant,” the spokesman said.

“If anyone has COVID-19 symptoms, they should get tested as soon as possible. Stay alert for updates as details of exposure sites are subject to change based on new information.”

There were 1069 new local cases, 10 deaths, and 579 Covid-19 patients in Victorian hospitals as of Tuesday morning.

Mr Kheir has been contacted for comment.

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