A police officer has tested positive to coronavirus, shutting down a Victorian police station and putting six officers in isolation.
Werribee Police Station in Melbourne’s west was temporarily closed for cleaning on Wednesday and reopened on Thursday after an officer tested positive.
Victoria Police said the officer felt unwell while on planned leave and had not been at work since June 21.
Six colleagues of the infected officer have gone into isolation and will be tested as a precautionary measure.
Investigations are under way to identify whether members of the community had contact with the officer.
Victoria has now had 16 days of daily double-digit increases in COVID-19 numbers, including 77 new cases reported on Thursday.
The police station is one of the many workplaces closed following positive coronavirus tests.
Just this week, Victoria reported 71 new cases on Monday, 64 on Tuesday and 72 on Wednesday – combined with Thursday’s tally, it has added 284 confirmed infections since Monday.
Of the new cases reported in Victoria on Thursday, seven were linked to outbreaks at schools.
With 17 schools closed in recent weeks for cleaning, Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said he would review whether students in the locked-down areas should return to school.
A Marvel Stadium security contractor also tested positive to COVID-19 but AFL matches at the venue will go ahead as planned.
Meanwhile, Coles imposed two-pack purchase limits on scores of staple products, including butter, cheese and fresh milk in Victoria, Tasmania and parts of NSW, after several staff members tested positive to COVID-19 at its Laverton distribution centre.
If this second wave is not stabilised, many people may die from coronavirus in Victoria, Professor Sutton warned, as parts of the state entered lockdown for the second time.
Many of the new cases are localised in Melbourne’s inner north and west, where more than 300,000 residents in 10 postcodes will remain in lockdown until July 29.
Professor Sutton said “not unexpectedly” the number of patients in hospital had grown to 20, with four people in intensive care.
Also on Thursday, the state government confirmed veteran judge Jennifer Coate will lead an inquiry into Victoria’s hotel quarantine program.
A large proportion of the state’s recent cases have been traced back to infection control breaches by security staff at hotels hosting returned travellers.