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Tenants of Maribyrnong’s Ariele Apartments have vented their frustration and confusion after being forced into a sudden two-week lockdown following exposure to two COVID-positive removalists from Sydney.
Residents and workers within the 78-apartment complex were forced to get tested and remain on high alert after the team of three movers carried furniture throughout the building last Thursday.
Ariel apartment building in Maribynong in western Melbourne is in lockdown after a person from NSW who tested positive visited the location. Credit:Eddie Jim
Cherryll Scott did not realise her apartment building was under a strict lockdown on Tuesday morning when she picked up the letter authorities had left on her door and left the building without reading it.
“I just stuffed it in my handbag, and when I drove out I saw the news crews, realised something was going on, stopped, read the letter and came back home,” she said.
“I’m a little bit annoyed. But you know, it’s happened … You just have to go with the flow.”
Ms Scott said health authorities should have considered more direct methods for notifying residents.
“They could’ve sent a text message,” she said.
Eric Lim owns H4U Hairdressing on the bottom floor of the complex and reacted to the news with just one word.
“My first reaction was ‘f–k’,” he said.
Mr Lim is concerned his salon, launched in November last year after Melbourne’s lengthy second wave, will struggle to weather another lockdown.
“I was like OK, what are we going to do, another two weeks. It’s never-ending man.”
Residents in their locked-down apartments on Tuesday.Credit:Eddie Jim
Chandler Baddeley came home from basketball training and saw the letter posted in the elevator on the way up to his apartment.
“I was quite in shock,” he said. “I didn’t really know what to do.
“What are the chances.”
Jeroen Weimar visits Ariele Apartments in Maribrynong.Credit:Nine News
Authorities knocked on his door and said they were sorting out options for residents to obtain food, and that he had to get tested on Tuesday and begin his isolation.
“I’ll be bingeing a few [television] shows, I’ll tell you that right now, but I don’t know where to start,” he said.
During a visit to Ariele Apartments on Tuesday, Victoria’s COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar said public health teams arrived in Maribyrnong late Monday night to start advising residents they had to quarantine for 14 days.
So far, nobody at the complex has tested positive to COVID-19. However, Victorian authorities are adopting a precautionary approach after NSW authorities reported 89 cases of the infectious Delta variant on Tuesday.
“It is very confronting of course to be advised late on a Monday evening that you’re now in 14 days of isolation,” he said.
Nicola Clement was told of the lockdown in a message from a friend early on Tuesday morning.
“I woke up this morning to a message on Facebook from my good friend who is a reporter saying, ‘This looks like your building’,” she told The Today Show.
“I haven’t had a chance to even talk to anyone else inside the building this morning, but it is a little bit of a wake-up call and just a stark reminder of the world we still live in.”
Ms Clement, like Mr Baddeley, was unable to speak to anyone on the COVID-19 hotline on Tuesday morning.
“I have been unable to get through to any of the call hotlines this morning,” she said.
“There was nobody outside the door. I thought there might have been somebody there who would offer some information, but there is nothing else.”
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