UPDATE, FRIDAY 3.45PM: The Public Health Unit Bendigo has confirmed the person who tested positive to COVID-19 in Echuca actually returned a false positive test.
The unit was notified on Thursday of a COVID-19 positive person in Echuca. That person was re-tested on Friday and they returned a negative result.
The unit said the false positive test was the result of a laboratory error.
Close contacts of the person also tested negative to COVID-19.
The Public Health Unit Bendigo has cleared the person and those connected so they can return to the community.
Earlier today, Premier Daniel Andrews had labelled the case, then thought to be positive, as a 'significant concern'.
What it does mean for regional Victoria, is that all seven cases found on Thursday were traceable and would not be counted as "mystery cases".
EARLIER: An unexpected COVID-19 confirmation in Echuca has caught health authorities by surprise and is causing "significant concern", according to Premier Daniel Andrews.
The positive test, which has occurred in an area that had been coronavirus-free for "quite some time", has potential to delay regional Victoria advancing to the 'third step' of the COVID roadmap.
As regional Victoria awaits the possible advancement of two steps forward, there is increased focus on the number of mystery cases in the regions.
There needs to be zero mystery cases in the regions for two weeks in order to advance to the 'third step'.
The 14-day rolling average is at 4.7, below the threshold of five.
There were seven new cases confirmed in regional Victoria on Thursday (four in Colac, one in both Geelong and Bendigo, as well as the one in Echuca).
All bar the the Echuca case are traceable and therefore do not count as mystery cases.
The latest data available shows there are eight mystery cases in the regions, although data does lag behind new cases by 48 hours.
Upon revealing the news, Mr Andrews was asked whether the Echuca case would reset the 14-day streak required to advance to the 'third step'.
He was also asked if it was fair that the entirety of regional Victoria should be held back because of one case in the north of the state.
There remains zero active cases in Ballarat.
"The most important thing is to thoroughly investigate that matter," Mr Andrews said.
"I want regional Victoria to take not just one step, but if the numbers allow two steps. We are doing a power of work towards that."
Mr Andrews also rejected the notion that cities or regions with zero active cases, such as Ballarat, should have looser restrictions than areas with the virus.
"Regional Victoria should move as one. We are on the cusp of being able to take that step anyway," he said.
"The notion of dividing regional Victoria for one week - people would barely be familiar with the rules before they change again."
Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said the Echuca case was not "completely confirmed" as yet and more tests needed to be undertaken.
"There are some features of it that are a little bit odd," he said.
"We haven't had any cases from Campaspe for quite some time."
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