Worker at Casey Hospital in Melbourne’s southeast tests positive for COVID

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41 hospital workers in Melbourne’s southeast have been furloughed after a colleague tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee at Casey Hosptial tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Monash Health said on Thursday.

They worked one shift during their exposure period but are not believed to have interacted with patients.

“They took a test as soon as they experienced symptoms,” the spokesperson said.

The employee wore personal protective equipment, the spokesperson added.

41 other employees were furloughed as a precaution and are awaiting COVID test results.

Casey Hospital in Berwick. Credit: Monash Health

“We appreciate that being identified as a close contact and self-isolating for 14 days can be a challenging and anxious time,” Professor Rhonda Stuart, Director at Monash Health South East Public Health Unit said.

“That’s why we are focused on providing support to employees who have been identified as close contacts from the time of notification through the furloughed period and return to work.

“This includes practical support and resources they can access for their wellbeing.”

New cases

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.

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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.

“We are doing what we can to limit the movement of people and with the help of all Victorians during this lockdown … we remain confident that we can still get ahead of this,” he told reporters on Thursday, the seventh day of a statewide lockdown.

– with AAP

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