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How the Chadstone virus cluster spread to regional Victoria

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer has explained how the Chadstone cluster grew to infect Shepparton. No new cases were detected in the town overnight.

Victoria has recorded six new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours and zero deaths.

All six of the state's new COVID-19 cases were from metropolitan Melbourne, Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed.

Two were linked to the Chadstone outbreak and a community outbreak in Elwood.

Another two were being investigated for links to a case from the Box Hill Hospital outbreak, one is being investigated for links to a single case and one is being investigated for links to a case at Woolworths QV.

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https://twitter.com/VicGovDHHS/status/1316488274249220102?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

There are just eight active cases in regional Victoria, with five being linked to the Kilmore cluster and three in Shepparton.

The figures mean no new cases were detected in Shepparton overnight.

The 14-day daily case average in metropolitan Melbourne has dropped to 8.9.

While in regional Victoria, the average is now 0.6.

A total of 1862 tests were conducted in Shepparton yesterday, Mr Andrews describing it as an "amazing effort".

"We are expecting a further 2000 tests to be undertaken over the course of today," he said.

Crowds of residents began lining up at testing clinics hours before opening this morning.

There are 11 testing sites operating near the local town.

The premier said health authorities were handing out bottles of water to people in long queues, with people deemed higher risk being fast-tracked.

Nearly 15,500 Victorians were tested for COVID-19 in total across the state.

About 400 people in the Shepparton community are self-isolating after the virus super-spreader - a truck driver from Melbourne - travelled to the town on September 30.

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Mr Andrews said they were either cases, close contacts or contacts of close contacts who were isolating.

"So those three separate groups of people who are all linked through potential chains of transmission," he said.

"They are isolated at home and they are isolated at home because of one person. That's the nature of this virus. It spreads wildly."

The testing centre at Shepparton Showground has already closed, after it reached its capacity of 300 people.

Department of Health and Human Services testing commander Jeroen Weimar said it was pleasing the 350 test results processed so far in Shepparton were negative.

"That is an encouraging move, of course we have a lot more tests that are being processed as we speak and we'll be doing updates during the course of the day as those results come through," he said.

Anyone who visited the below places on the high-risk dates and times are urged to get tested regardless if they have symptoms.

- Central Tyre Service

- Shepparton Market Place Medical Centre

- Thai Orchid Restaurant

- Bombshell Hairdressing

- Bunnings Shepparton

- McDonald's Shepparton North

- Lemon Tree café

- Mooroopna Golf Club Shop

- Caltex Kalkallo Service Centre South Bound 1340 Hume Freeway Kalkallo

Mr Andrews rejected claims the Shepparton outbreak could have been prevented if the state's health department had acted more swiftly in urging the infected Melburnian to self-isolate after their family member was initially tested for COVID-19.

The premier said the truck driver had breached COVID-19 restrictions by visiting a number of locations in regional Victoria. The matter has been referred to Victoria Police.

"I don't draw that conclusion," he said.

"The point I'm making to you is that not only has he spent time in locations he ought not to have spent time in because the restrictions in Melbourne should travel with you and they did not with this person, he was allowed to be in regional Victoria, he's got a permit to do that.

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"What he's not allowed to do, though, is to sit in a cafe for three hours or go and attend a number of other sites."

How the Chadstone cluster infected Shepparton

Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng has provided a timeline of how the Chadstone cluster unfolded and expanded to include Shepparton.

A cleaner who worked at Chadstone Shopping Centre was tested on September 25, with health authorities becoming aware of the positive result a day later on September 26.

The manager at The Butcher Club was discovered positive on September 28 after being admitted to hospital for other reasons.

Health authorities then made the connection the manager and cleaner's cases were linked. They previously were not told the cleaner had been to Chadstone.

The Butcher Club staff member was tested on September 29.

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They are a household contact of the truck driver who drove to Shepparton. The infected truck driver drove to Kilmore on that same day and to Shepparton the day after.

The truck driver's household contact tested positive on September 30 – the same day he returned home.

"There is unfortunately, you know, that slipping through the net," Professor Cheng said.

He admitted the infected person would have been picked up in the state's new 'third ring' quarantine operation.

"We weren't doing the contact of contacts approach, but that's something we're doing now."

Victoria's coronavirus outbreaks

Active aged care outbreaks with the highest active case numbers:

Outbreaks with the highest number of active cases:

You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

Beyond Blue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800 512 348.

For coronavirus breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the 9News app and set notifications to on at the App Store or Google Play.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-victoria-update-six-new-cases-covid19-zero-deaths-latest-numbers-dhhs/1078e28b-f99b-46e9-b82f-a5c12d77a22b

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