News Coronavirus New coronavirus outbreak at Victorian meat facility

New coronavirus outbreak at Victorian meat facility

Health minister Jenny Mikakos also says she does not know who decided to use security guards for hotel quarantine. Photo: AAP
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

A coronavirus cluster has been uncovered at a Melbourne meat processing facility.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos on Saturday revealed eight staff members at a meat processing facility in Melbourne had tested positive to COVID-19.

Three employees are among the seven new cases have been confirmed across the state, bringing the total to 1371.

Ms Mikakos declined to name the business or provide further details about its location, saying the facility was closed for cleaning and all staff were being tested.

The discovery comes amid warnings Victoria’s progress in fighting the pandemic remains “incredibly fragile”.

The minister stressed there were no concerns about food safety or risk to the broader community.

“I have no hesitation in naming a facility if I think that that is in the public interests,” Ms Mikakos told reporters, when pressed to provide further details about the business.

It comes after a coronavirus cluster was identified at the Hawthorn Grange aged care home in Melbourne’s east, with four residents and one staff member infected.

One of Victoria’s seven new coronavirus cases involves a returned traveller in quarantine at a hotel.

“The fact that we’ve had seven new cases overnight does demonstrate that the situation is still incredibly fragile,” Ms Mikakos said.

All but 71 patients who have contracted the virus in Victoria are recovered.

Of the total number of cases, 141 indicate community transmission. This means someone has been infected without going overseas or coming into contact with another confirmed case.

Twelve people remain in hospital with the virus, including seven in intensive care, and more than 129,000 Victorians have been tested.

The state’s death toll from the virus remains at 18.

Restrictions on social gatherings and movement are beginning to ease across some states.

But Victoria is not expected to relax its measures to suppress the spread of coronavirus before a state of emergency expires on May 11.
It comes as police doled out 30 fines in the past 24 hours, including to seven people gathered for a birthday party and others busted for drug offences.

Five new cases in NSW

NSW’s coronavirus tally has grown to 3031 after recording five new cases over the last 24 hours.

State health minister Brad Hazzard said the new cases came from 8809 tests, the second highest rate of testing recorded across NSW since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis.

There were no new deaths recorded.

Mr Hazzard also said he had eased restrictions on people attending beauty salons to purchase retail products.

-with AAP