Person linked to Chadstone COVID-19 outbreak only disclosed Shepparton stop in follow-up interview


Three new coronavirus cases in Shepparton, in Victoria’s north, have been linked to a Melbourne resident who did not initially tell contact tracers they had made a stop in the regional city.Key points:With contact tracing underway, health officials expect to find more casesAnyone who has symptoms, even if they have not visited the high-risk locations, is urged to get testedShepparton MP Suzanna Sheed said the news was gutting after an outbreak in July was suppressedJeroen Weimar, the Department of Health and Human Services’ commander of community engagement and testing, said the person had been linked to the outbreak at Chadstone shopping centre and had then travelled to Kilmore, north of Melbourne. Mr Weimar said the person had then travelled on to Shepparton on September 30, but had only disclosed this stop to contact tracers in a follow-up conversation last night.”It is obviously hugely concerning that the information about the Shepparton stop wasn’t divulged at the time that we were dealing with Kilmore 10 to 12 days ago,” Mr Weimar told ABC Radio Melbourne this morning.”Had we had that information at the time we could have jumped on the Shepparton situation much more quickly.”We’re now having to go back, work with those businesses and locations and work with the people of Shepparton to get this back under control.”Our contact tracing system, everybody’s contact tracing system, is only as good as the information we get from people who turn positive.”If that information isn’t accurate, is only partial, if things are withheld, all of the work that everyone is doing is compromised.”LIVE UPDATES: Read our blog for the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic.Mr Weimar said the three new Shepparton cases were identified late on Tuesday, and were isolating at home in Shepparton and being monitored by health officials.Shepparton residents are being advised to get tested for coronavirus if they feel ill.He said extensive contact tracing was underway and it was expected that further cases would be discovered.”To everyone locally … if you feel unwell at all, please get tested as soon as possible and stay at home until you get your results,” Mr Weimar said.”We’re asking everyone in the local community — and any Victorian who has loved ones in Shepparton — to share this message.”LoadingThe department has released a list of high-risk locations, which includes eateries, a golf club, a hairdressing salon and a Bunnings store. But Mr Weimar said locals who felt unwell should get tested even if they had not visited any of them.’We had a moment of hope’Local Shepparton MP Suzanna Sheed said she was “gutted” by news of the outbreak in her electorate.”To find out that just tonight there are … active cases, possibly with many contacts for our community, is extremely upsetting,” she told Parliament on Tuesday night.Ms Sheed said there had been a big run of cases in Shepparton in July but “we got on top of it, suppressed it and we’ve been clear for weeks”.Regional Victoria is on step three of Victoria’s restrictions roadmap, and has significantly fewer limits on movement and business than metropolitan Melbourne does.Ms Sheed said she could see the impact of the restrictions while driving into Melbourne to attend Parliament.”The life has been sucked out of this place and it is a truly tragic thing to see,” she said. “We had a moment of hope in regional Victoria that we might have been able to have a much better result, to be able to be more isolated and to be able to free up even more.”News like that can just really be so devastating in our communities when we feel like we were really getting on top of it.”Federal MP Damian Drum, whose electorate of Nicholls includes Shepparton, has called on the Victorian Government to strengthen border controls around Melbourne to prevent further outbreaks.”We have been screaming at the Premier to put a genuine border around Melbourne, and I mean a genuine, permit-system border that means only essential workers can go into and out of Melbourne,” he said.Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreakPop-up testing site set up with more to comeBefore the outbreak, there had been only six active cases of the virus in all of regional Victoria. Five of them are in the Kilmore area, north of Melbourne, and are also linked to the Chadstone cluster.High-risk locations identified in Shepparton are:Central Tyre Service, Welsford Street, Shepparton from Wednesday September 30 to Tuesday October 13.Bunnings Warehouse, Midland Highway Shepparton, Friday October 2McDonalds Shepparton North, 175 Midland Highway Shepparton, Saturday October 3Mooroopna Golf Club Members Bar, Sunday October 4; and Pro Shop and Members Bar, Sunday October 11 Shepparton Market Place Medical Centre, Midland Highway, Shepparton, Thursday October 8Lemon Tree Café, Fryers Street SheppartonThai Orchid Restaurant, Nixon Street Shepparton, Wednesday October 7 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm.Bombshell Hairdressing, Fryers Street Shepparton, on Wednesday October 7 from 9:30am to 10:30am.People can be tested for coronavirus at:Goulburn Valley Health’s Acute Respiratory Clinic, between 9:00am and 5:30pmThe McIntosh Centre at the Shepparton Showgrounds, which will open from 12:30pmThe Shepparton Respiratory Clinic, open for appointments only until 5:30pm today and extended hours of 9:00am-9:00pm from tomorrow The Bairnsdale Secondary College will remain open, as the case had not been on school grounds while infectious.(ABC News: Kellie Lazzaro)New coronavirus case linked to Bairnsdale schoolMeanwhile, Bairnsdale Secondary College in East Gippsland will remain open despite a confirmed case linked to the school.The school’s principal, Trudie Nagle, sent a message to parents last night advising them of the positive case.Ms Nagle said the school did not need to close as the person had not been on the school grounds since July.”There is absolutely no concern, no threat, no safety danger whatsoever, because the individual has not been on site since July,” Ms Nagle said.Students in years seven to 12 returned to the campus on Monday after months of remote learning.What you need to know about coronavirus:

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