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Health officials are working to contain a coronavirus outbreak linked to a butcher’s shop in the Melbourne suburb of Chadstone while battling a new outbreak in regional Victoria.
The Butcher Club in Chadstone is now the source of 28 cases of Covid-19 in Victoria, including eight staff, 11 household and family members, and four customers.
On Tuesday Victoria reported 15 new cases and one death. The state’s chief health officer, Prof Brett Sutton, said although the numbers were higher than he would like, the cases were predominantly related to known outbreaks.
“We have to get on top of the outbreaks to really drive these numbers down,” he said. “The Chadstone outbreak is an illustration, again, of just how significantly this can spread far and wide.”
Sutton said one case was a close contact of a staff member from the butcher’s shop who had travelled to the regional town of Kilmore and dined in the Oddfellows cafe.
The person had not known they were a close contact of a confirmed case and had a permitted work reason to leave metropolitan Melbourne, Sutton said. But they broke the health rules by dining in the cafe as people visiting regional Victoria from Melbourne must only purchase takeaway meals.
Two more people have since tested positive in Kilmore, including an Oddfellows cafe worker, but the cluster is being treated as separate from the Chadstone outbreak.
Additional testing is being done in Kilmore and Sutton said the cafe was “an illustration of a cafe that did all of the right things” in terms of keeping records of customers.
“[It] has a fantastic register of names,” he said. “All of those close contacts are being contacted, but there are 150 of them.”
People who visited the cafe between 30 September and 3 October are being advised to be tested even if they do not have symptoms.
The 14-day rolling average cases for metropolitan Melbourne is 10.6 and the number of mystery cases between 20 September and 3 October is 13.
The slight rise in case numbers has led to concern Melbourne may not reach the 19 October target of a 14-day rolling average of five cases a day statewide. That is the threshold to move to the next stage of easing restrictions.
“Every outbreak had its complexities and we do get on top of them,” Sutton said. “These may well be the very last outbreaks that Victoria sees. I hope that that is the case and we can get on top of them.”
The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, said the case showed the second wave wasn’t over yet.
“We’re very, very close,” he said. “We’re very close. But I can’t, in any sense of certainty, I can’t tell people where we’re going to be on the 17th, 18th, 19th of October, let alone the 23rd. That’s why we’ve all got to make the right choices.”
Elsewhere, New South Wales reported 11 new cases, all in hotel quarantine, marking its 11th consecutive day of no locally acquired cases. Queensland reported no new cases. South Australia reported two additional cases, both acquired overseas and now in hotel quarantine.
Source: The Guardian
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