Victoria has recorded another 165 cases of coronavirus, including several hospital and aged care workers, on the first day of a six-week lockdown in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire.
- Only 30 of the new cases are linked to known outbreaks
- Close contacts of workers from a number of Melbourne hospitals have been ordered into quarantine
- A cluster linked to the Al-Taqwa College in Truganina is now the state’s biggest
Of the new infections, 30 are linked to known outbreaks and 135 are being investigated by health authorities.
For the second day in a row, hospital staff and aged care workers are among those to have contracted COVID-19.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said two healthcare workers from the Royal Melbourne Hospital had tested positive for the virus.
Two people who work at the Sunshine Hospital emergency department have also contracted the virus.
Close contacts of the workers from both hospitals will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
An outbreak at the Northern Hospital in Epping has risen to 11 infections, including nine staff members and two household contacts, after another worker returned a positive test.
A number of Northern Hospital staff are already in quarantine and ambulances have been diverted from what is normally the state’s busiest emergency department.
Austin Health, which runs the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg, said a non-clinical staff member from a mental health inpatient unit contracted the virus earlier this week.
“The staff member last worked over the weekend and is now in isolation,” a hospital spokesperson said.
“Testing of all patients in the unit is taking place as a precaution and all patients tested so far have returned negative results.”
Staff test positive at six aged care facilities
Contact tracing is underway at six aged care facilities after workers tested positive for the virus.
DHHS said the new cases included:
- Two staff members who worked at Menarock Life Aged Care in Essendon
- A staff member who attended BaptCare The Orchards Community in Doncaster while infectious
- A staff member who worked at Benetas St George’s in Altona Meadows while infectious
- A staff member who worked at BlueCross Ivanhoe while infectious
- A staff member who worked at Aurrum Aged Care facility in Healesville. The staff member was not infectious at the time
- A staff member who worked at Holmwood Aged Care facility in Healesville. The staff member was not infectious at the time
The town of Healesville, north-east of Melbourne, is part of the Yarra Ranges shire, which is currently under the new stage three restrictions.
More than 100 public housing tower residents test positive
The new infections bring the total number of active cases in the state to 932.
Of the 3,098 cases recorded in Victoria since the start of the pandemic, 477 are thought to have been acquired through community transmission — meaning the source of the infection is unknown.
The number of cases linked to the North Melbourne and Flemington public housing towers currently under a hard lockdown has risen to 111, with 18 more people diagnosed since yesterday.
A cluster linked to the Al-Taqwa College in Truganina, in Melbourne’s west, has now become the state’s largest after six more people linked to the school contracted the virus. The outbreak now sits at 113 infections.
An outbreak linked to the Catch.com distribution centre in Truganina has risen to four cases after one new infection.
A household contact of a case linked to the Collins Street Hugo Boss store in Melbourne’s CBD has tested positive for the virus, bringing the outbreak there to eight cases.
Six weeks of new restrictions begins
A steady increase of new cases of COVID-19 over the past three weeks has prompted the state to reimpose stage three restrictions, which came into effect today.
Residents in the 31 local government areas of metropolitan Melbourne, and the Mitchell Shire, can now only leave their homes for four reasons: work or study, medical care or caregiving, shopping for essentials and daily exercise.
In local government areas not under the stay-at-home orders, four new cases were recorded in Geelong, bringing the number of active cases in that city to six.
Three new cases were recorded in Greater Bendigo, north-west of Melbourne, bringing the number of active cases there to four.