A growing COVID-19 cluster linked to the Arcare Maidstone Residential Aged Care facility has been linked to the City of Whittlesea and Port Melbourne outbreaks.
Victoria recorded two new locally acquired cases and one in hotel quarantine on Tuesday, bringing the total number of active cases to 92.
One of the new cases was an Arcare workers household contact, bringing the total number of cases linked to the facility to 10.
Deputy chief health officer Allen Cheng said an Acare worker had infected other staff and residents.
“Someone has worked while infectious and infected three residents and then there has been transmission within the home to other workers as well,” he said.
“What we do know is that genomically it seems to be linked to the general City of Whittlesea/Port Melbourne outbreak, so it is the Kappa variant.
“But the first person in that outbreak doesn’t live anywhere near Whittlesea and as far as we know hasn’t been up in that direction and we haven’t been able to identify any other epidemiological links at this stage.
“It does seem to cluster a bit more closely to the Port Melbourne outbreak but it’s a little bit difficult to say; we can’t really be conclusive on that.”
COVID-19 testing commander Jeroen Weimar said health authorities were particularly concerned about Arcare and another exposure location, a construction site on Queen Street in the CBD.
We have over 490 primary close contacts, he said.
Over 400 have returned a negative test result, an encouraging step forward, but there are a few more to chase down.
The Department of Health declared all workers in Arcares Magnolia Wing to be close contacts of Sundays infected worker case, and they were required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Arcare chief executive Colin Singh said Arcare was working with the federal government to ensure the facility had enough workers.
“To specifically address the issue of team members working at more than one site, a new package has been introduced to ensure all staff only work at their primary place of work, with Arcare agreeing to compensate them for any income they forego as a result of lost shifts at other locations,” he said.
COVID-19 has been contained to the Magnolia Wing, with strict procedures in place to ensure team members dont cross over into other areas of the residence, including utilising a separate entrance to the building.
Victoria’s list of exposure sites has grown to more than 300, including 7-Eleven stores at Yarraville and Maribyrnong, the Werribee and Sunbury train lines and Williamstown Post Office in the past week.
Dr Cheng said Melbourne was “on track” for restrictions to be eased at 11.59pm Thursday provided there are no unexpected cases.
For the most up to date exposure sites, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites
A growing COVID-19 cluster linked to the Arcare Maidstone Residential Aged Care facility has been linked to the City of Whittlesea …