Virus outbreak’s dangerous spread
An outbreak in a meat processing facility has rocked Victoria ahead of a national cabinet expected to outline a relaxation on coronavirus restrictions.
The abattoir cluster at the Cedar Meats plant in Brooklyn has already registered 49 cases linked to the facility, and further affected the community.
A worker at Doutta Galla Aged Care in Footscray that was in close contact with an abattoir worker was confirmed as positive on Wednesday.
This announcement followed the news that a worker at Grant Lodge aged care in Bacchus Marsh tested positive on Saturday.
Both nursing homes have been shut down, while the state government argued it had managed the outbreak perfectly.
Despite the first coronavirus case linked to the abattoir being recorded on April 2, the department took additional actions including the site closure on April 29.
The person who tested positive on April 2 said they hadn't been at work while infectious, so the workplace was not considered an exposure site.
The second case linked to the workplace was diagnosed on April 24, followed by a third case about 24 hours later.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is investigating whether commonwealth officials inspecting abattoirs might have been affected.
Victorian Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said it's not clear exactly how the outbreak emerged, Cedar Meats is now shut and Prof Sutton expects that will bring the outbreak to a head, after some more cases emerge in the next fortnight.
The chief health officer said the outbreak warned the fight against the virus was far from over, but showed hope of Victoria relaxing measures after May 11.
Victoria's opposition slammed Premier Daniel Andrews, claiming the meatworks outbreak was Victoria's "own Ruby Princess".
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos dismissed the comparison, saying "the public health team has done an excellent job in responding to this outbreak."
The Ruby Princess virus cluster is linked to more than 20 deaths and 600 infections across Australia.
Originally published as Virus outbreak's dangerous spread