Melbourne Coles worker tests positive for COVID-19 as Australians are warned not to interact with residents of the city due to virus spike
- Coles worker at Melbourne distribution centre has tested positive for the virus
- Staff member is self-isolating along with other team members in close contact
- Infection at Laverton in south west comes amid feared COVID-19 second wave
- Victoria marked on Tuesday its 17th consecutive day of double-digit infections
- State health minister said she hasn’t ruled out locking down affected areas
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
A Coles worker at a distribution centre in Melbourne has tested positive for COVID-19 as Victorians are told to stay away from parts of the city which have emerged as hotspots for the virus.
The supermarket giant confirmed the staff member at the Laverton distribution centre in the city’s south-west is self-isolating and that state health officials visited the site on Tuesday morning.
A small number of staff who had been in close contact with the infected team member were also self-isolating and told to get tested for COVID-19, a Coles spokesperson said.
The staff member at the Laverton distribution centre (pictured) in the city’s south-west is self-isolating along with other workers who were in close contact with them
‘As an added precaution, Coles has conducted additional deep cleans of the facility,’ the supermarket chain said in a statement.
‘Distribution centre team members do not manually handle individual grocery products, which are packaged in larger crates and cartons during distribution.’
The confirmed case comes as Victoria battles against a second wave of COVID-19 infections – with the state recording 17 cases on Tuesday.
Of the new infections, 11 are from an unknown source, marking its 17th consecutive day of double-digit infections.
Six areas have been identified as hotspots for the coronavirus – Hume and Brimbank, in Melbourne’s north and west, Casey and Cardinia in the city’s southeast and Moreland and Darebin in the north.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian recommended against travelling to Melbourne and encouraged NSW businesses to deny service to travellers from the new hotspots.
Australians have been warned to stay away from six council in Melbourne: Hume, Casey and Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin
Victorian health minister Jenny Mikakos said she also hadn’t ruled out enforcing mandatory isolation in certain suburbs if coronavirus infections continued to spike.
‘In the legal directions that have come in, we have not issued stay-at-home directions for those hotspot areas, but of course we don’t rule anything out,’ Ms Mikakos said.
Cases are expected to continue rising in the areas, with more than 1,000 close contacts of the state’s 125 active cases already identified.
Two Victorian schools were closed on Tuesday after students were among those who tested positive to COVID-19.
Brunswick East Primary School and Keilor Views Primary School, both in Melbourne virus hot spots, will shut their doors for three days.
Premier Daniel Andrews admitted the spike in community transmissions was a cause for concern.
‘I know and understand that so many Victorian, perhaps all Victorians want this to be over. But we simply can’t pretend that the virus is gone,’ he told reporters on Tuesday.
‘It is here. It travels so fast. It is so infectious.
Victorians are seen wearing face masks as they leave Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station on Sunday (pictured) as cases grow across Victoria
‘So what we can be certain of is that there will be some significant community transmission within those numbers.
‘There is an acceptable level of new cases. We’re not at that point now. The amount of community transmission that we’ve got is too high.