Victoria’s fight against COVID-19 intensified as an emergency nurse tested positive for the virus and health workers descended on two suburbs of Melbourne to control community transmission.
Details of the Royal Melbourne Hospital nurse’s case have yet to be disclosed, including her level of exposure to other staff, patients or visitors.
A hospital statement said that all known contacts had been informed and were receiving support, and that the hospital was cleaning up further and tracing the contacts.
Victoria registered 41 new cases on Saturday, marking the 11th consecutive day of double-digit increases.
Health workers go door to door in Keilor Downs and Broadmeadows, with mobile test vans and expanded community engagement teams in the field.
Residents of the two areas also received emergency text messages on Saturday, inviting them to take tests.
“We know that cases and epidemics will continue to occur, and we are really doing our best to keep them absolutely informed,” said Annaliese van Diemen, Deputy Chief Health Officer.
Eight of the last 41 cases are linked to known epidemics, one is a return traveler, 13 are from routine tests and 19 are under investigation.
Australian Defense Forces medical and support personnel have reportedly arrived in Victoria to assist the state’s efforts.
Victoria is seeking legal advice to make the return traveler test mandatory following revelations that some have refused the test.
Dr van Diemen sought to allay concerns about the 30% refusal rate, saying that this figure was linked to the total number since the quarantine of the hotels began, but that the current refusal rates were lower.
The total number of virus cases recorded in Victoria is now 1987, with 1762 recoveries, and the death toll remains at 20.
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Coronavirus testing is now widely available throughout Australia. If you experience cold or flu symptoms, schedule a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information hotline at 1800 020 080.
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