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Receipt blamed for wrong supermarket being identified as exposure site

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Victoria’s Department of Health has blamed a receipt for naming the wrong supermarket as a COVID-19 exposure site after a coronavirus scare earlier this month

Victoria's Department of Health has blamed a receipt for naming the wrong supermarket as a COVID-19 exposure site after a coronavirus scare earlier this month.

Staff at Woolworths Epping were sent home and the supermarket was deep-cleaned after being erroneously identified weeks ago.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley tried to explain the mix up on ABC radio yesterday, saying that contact tracers had been given an electronic transaction receipt from a banking app, which indicated the at-risk individual shopped at the Epping Woolworths.

"Given that Epping Woolworths is right across the road from another established exposure site, the conclusion was drawn by the public health team that it was in fact Epping Woolworths.

On Friday officials revealed the supermarket visited by an infected man was actually the Woolworths in Epping North.

The latter supermarket is on Lyndarum Drive, three kilometres away.

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Anybody who was at Woolworths Epping North on May 8 between 5.40pm and 6.40pm needs to get tested and isolate until they return a negative result.

Health officials have contacted Woolworths to ensure all potentially exposed staff get tested and isolate.

Meanwhile, the three household contacts of a positive Wollert case, still in isolation, have been re-tested for COVID-19 and are negative.

The correct coronavirus exposure site, a Woolworths in Epping North.

It comes as traces of coronavirus have been detected in wastewater in Melbourne's north, Victoria's Chief Health Officer has announced.

The traces of COVID-19 were picked up in testing last night in the Epping and Wollert area.

Authorities are urging anybody with potential COVID-19 symptoms – fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, and loss or change in taste and smell – to get tested.

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The Epping Woolworths is deep-cleaned after being mistakenly identified as a coronavirus exposure site.

A pop-up testing site will open at 9.30am tomorrow at Epping Stadium on Harvest Home Road.

There is also a testing site at Epping's Northern Hospital, which is open 9am-5pm seven days a week.

"These types of traces of coronavirus in wastewater are getting detected regularly – with more people leaving Hotel Quarantine – cleared of the virus but still shedding, and moving around our community," a statement from the Department of Health read.

"While the detections may be due to someone who has had COVID-19 that is no longer infectious continuing to 'shed' the virus, it is also possible that it is due to an active but undiagnosed infectious case.

"This detection is of note because there are public exposure sites in the area relating to the Wollert case, who has been isolating in a health hotel outside the catchment."

The infected man who sparked the coronavirus scare earlier this month likely contracted the disease from a neighbouring guest in hotel quarantine.

Source: 9News

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