Another hospital impacted by Vic outbreak

(John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

Dozens of staff from another major Melbourne hospital are isolating after being exposed to COVID-19, as Victoria’s coronavirus outbreak continues to escalate.

Victoria recorded 71 local COVID-19 cases on Monday, 55 of which were not isolating when they should have been, with the source of infection in 22 cases a mystery.

The state’s COVID-19 Testing Commander Jeroen Weimar said health teams are working around the clock “to run after all these cases”.

But if Victorians continued to work together then “we can absolutely” put a ring around the outbreak and come out of lockdown on September 2, he added.

“Those numbers will continue to rise but the onus is now on the wider community because this Delta moves wildly quickly,” he said.

It comes as St Vincent’s Hospital confirmed 24 emergency department staff are now in quarantine after being “potentially exposed to COVID-19”, a spokesman said on Monday night.

The hospital’s emergency department has been listed as a tier two exposure site with anyone who visited on August 14 between 7.20am and 5.40pm urged to get tested and isolate until a negative result.

St Vincent’s continues to operate as normal with no impact on the hospital’s wider services, and its infection control team is providing support “as a matter of urgency”.

Royal Melbourne Hospital is dealing with its own outbreak after five staff and patients tested positive after surgery was performed on an infected Shepparton man on August 12.

Late on Monday, the government added Notre Dame College in Shepparton, Sirius College Meadow Fair Campus in Broadmeadows and a Woolworths supermarket at Altona North to an expanding list of tier one exposure sites.

Meanwhile, new rules around childcare and authorised workers came into effect overnight.

From 11.59pm Monday only authorised workers can access childcare, kindergarten and early childhood services, with workforce permits required to leave home for work.

Workforce caps will apply across several industries including construction, abattoirs, meat, poultry and seafood processing.


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