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Charges over Vic COVID test site hit-run

covid test hit run
A man has been charged after a Melbourne COVID-19 testing site worker was hit with a stolen car. Photo: AAP
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A man has been charged after allegedly hitting a Melbourne COVID-19 testing site worker with a stolen car and fleeing.

The man aged in his 50s suffered non-life threatening injuries when he was struck by a white Holden station wagon while helping people queue at the Collingwood CoHealth testing site in the inner-city on Tuesday morning.

A nearby nurse provided first aid to the Tarneit man until an ambulance arrived.

A short time later, police found the station wagon and arrested the alleged driver in nearby Carlton.

The 32-year-old, of no fixed address, was charged by police on Wednesday with theft of motor vehicle as well as a range of driving and drug-related offences.

He has been remanded to face court in mid-December.

CoHealth chief executive Nicole Bartholomeusz said the incident had sent “shockwaves” through the community and the clinic would be closed until Thursday.

The health department confirmed another COVID-19 testing site worker, in Pakenham, in Melbourne’s outer south-east, was subjected to “aggression” on Tuesday.

They were uninjured but the incident will be reported to police.

It comes as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews thanked a nurse who died of the coronavirus for her years of service to the state.

Gillian “Jill” Dempsey died while in intensive care at Box Hill Hospital on Sunday afternoon, her employer Eastern Health has confirmed.

“Can I on behalf of all Victorians say how sorry we are to hear someone who committed their entire working life to caring for others has lost her life in the service of others,” Mr Andrews said on Wednesday.

“She was double-vaxxed, she was wearing PPE, she was doing all the right things, but she’s contracted the virus and as we’ve said so many times this can be deadly.”

Ms Dempsey began working for Angliss Hospital in 2007 and was a “beloved” night shift nurse, Eastern Health said.

She is survived by her husband Michael and their three children.

Ms Dempsey’s union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, told the ABC she was the first hospital worker in the state to die from COVID-19.

The ANMF believes she contracted the virus while at work.

Victoria had 1179 new local COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, and six deaths of people aged in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

Of the deaths linked to Victoria’s current outbreak, 80 per cent were not fully vaccinated.