WATCH LIVE: Victoria COVID-19 press conference today with update on new COVID-19 cases and lockdown restrictions
Victoria’s contact tracers are working around the clock and 41 workers at a Melbourne hospital stood down temporarily after a fellow staffer worked a shift while infectious with COVID-19.
The employee of Casey Hospital, a 229-bed facility in the city’s outer southeast, returned a positive test on Tuesday.
Victoria’s health authorities are expected to provide a COVID-19 update on Friday. This article will be updated with the time as soon as it’s available. You can watch the press conference LIVE in the video player ABOVE as soon as it’s available.
Monash Health, the public health service that manages the hospital, confirmed the case on Thursday night.
The staffer worked one shift during their infectious period, forcing 41 hospital employees to be furloughed as they await test results.
Monash Health said the worker wore PPE during the shift, doesn’t have a front-facing role, and is not thought to have had any interaction with patients.
It comes as authorities insist Victoria is “winning” the race against its latest coronavirus outbreak, despite recording its highest daily total of new cases this year.
Vic COVID-19 cases update
Twenty six locally acquired cases were reported in Victoria on Thursday, all linked to the current outbreak, which originated in NSW and now totals 133 cases.
Twenty four were in quarantine throughout their entire infectious period, while the remaining two cases had limited exposure to the community.
Some 43,674 tests were processed in the 24 hours to Thursday morning, while 14,230 Victorians received a vaccine dose at one of the state-run hubs.
Victoria lockdown update
Acting Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie on Thursday said it was too early to say whether lookdown would end as planned at 11:59pm on July 27, but he is confident authorities have a handle on the outbreak.
“I’m feeling like we’re certainly winning the race, it’s a question of just keeping going so hard to the finish line,” he told reporters on Thursday, the seventh day of a statewide lockdown.
Health Minister Martin Foley said within three days Victoria had gone from only six per cent of new cases isolating while infectious to 92 per cent.
“With the help of all Victorians during this lockdown … we remain confident that we can still get ahead of this,” Foley said.
DH exposure sites
There are now more than 390 exposure sites, with a shopping centre, Woolworths, Coles and cake shop all in Malvern added as tier-two sites on Thursday afternoon after a positive case visited the businesses on Sunday.
A shopping centre in Melbourne’s inner south-east, a Bunnings store and a park are among the latest Melbourne venues to be listed as COVID-19 exposure sites.
You can click here to see Victoria’s latest coronavirus exposure sites.
– with AAP