TAKE care is the message for Ballarat as the state government continues grappling to contain hotspots across Melbourne.
Ballarat has remained free of new COVID-19 cases since mid-May, flat-lining on 11, despite a further 182 confirmed cases of the virus in the state at the weekend.
One new active case was listed for Golden Plains Shire on Sunday, but it was unclear in which part of the region with boundaries stretching to Geelong.
A spokesperson for Victoria's health department did not rule out Ballarat people from visiting Melbourne amid the outbreak, only to reiterate restrictions: "If you need to travel through one of the restricted postcode areas, you can. Only see those you need to. Use common sense when it comes to visiting friends and family, especially those who are more vulnerable".
Buninyong MP Michaela Settle, who has worked in community health, said even if an area did not have active cases, the risk was always there in every Victorian community.
Ms Settle reiterated Premier Daniel Andrews' message on Sunday that the best way to show support for those in hard lockdown was to follow the rules.
"We've done well in Ballarat, but we can't let this get away from us," Ms Settle said. "More than 240 regional Victorians have had coronavirus, and our case numbers are higher than they've been in more than two months.
"We've all worked so hard to protect our families and friends but it's not over yet. The best thing we can do for Ballarat, is to stay safe."
More than 3000 public housing tenants in nine high-rises complexes across Footscray and North Melbourne were placed in hard lockdowns on Saturday at 4pm. The source of the clusters is not yet known.
Deakin University epidemilogy lead Catherine Bennett told The Courier there was always a risk an individual might lead to more cases in a region but all it could take was one case in the wrong place and it could spread quickly.
Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton said the communal nature of the towers, including shared laundries and lifts, had "genuinely explosive potential" for spreading the virus.
Ballarat would need to chalk up more than 20 COVID-19 cases, with at least five active cases, before it was sent into tighter lockdowns according to guidelines from authorities last week.
City of Ballarat mayor Ben Taylor has made clear these school holidays were a great chance for families to stay safe and explore this region.
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