Victoria anti-lockdown protest attendee tests positive for COVID-19

A protester who attended an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne this week has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Health officials confirmed a protester is being treated in hospital as fears grow the protest could lead into a super spreader event. 

"Public health investigations are underway," a statement read. "We are urging protesters to get tested should they experience Covid-like symptoms, no matter how mild."

Chair of epidemiology at Deakin University Catherine Bennett told the Courier Mail there are fears the virus will spread undetected as protesters won't get tested.

"We're only going to know about these cases if someone is unwell enough and has to go to [the]hospital," she said. "The worry is that people might develop symptoms over the next few days but not test. 

"We'll probably know in a couple of weeks if people do have the virus and don’t get tested as it takes a while before it comes to the surface - it can take a few generations to spread out."

Hundreds took to the streets this week in the city of 5 million after officials ordered a two-week closure of building sites and made vaccines mandatory for construction workers to limit the spread of the virus.

Police used capsicum spray and foam baton rounds on Wednesday to disperse protesters who gathered at a memorial honouring war service, prompting veteran groups and some politicians to speak out against using the shrine as a rallying point.

COVID-19 case numbers in Victoria have spiked in the past month. Victoria recorded 847 new cases on Saturday and the death of a man in his 80s from the Hume local government area in Melbourne's northern suburbs - the area worst affected by the current outbreak.

The total case numbers on Saturday were Victoria's highest daily case numbers of the COVID-19 pandemic so far.