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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Melbourne COVID-19 hotspots prompt ACT Health warning

Individuals who work in high-risk settings, and who have travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in Melbourne, are being advised by ACT Health to not attend work for a period of 14 days after leaving the hotspot.

The advice from ACT Health extends to all staff, volunteers and visitors in high-risk settings, specifically hospitals, residential aged care facilities, correctional facilities and residential accommodation facilities that support people who require frequent, close personal care and who are vulnerable to severe disease.

These workers, volunteers and visitors are asked to be alert for COVID-19 symptoms such as a fever and dry cough and, if symptoms develop, to immediately self-isolate at home and arrange to be tested.

People who work in other health settings, such as General Practitioners and other community health practitioners, can continue to deliver services. However, they should remain vigilant and, if symptoms develop, should self-isolate and be tested.

The advice comes off the back of the Victorian Government’s announcement yesterday (30 June) of several postcodes linked to outbreaks scheduled to go into local lockdown from 11.59pm today (1 July).

COVID-19 cases in Melbourne have increased significantly as a result of large outbreaks and community transmission.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said a number of their cases through late May and early June can be linked to an infection control breach in the hotel quarantine program.

Mr Andrews said he has ordered the establishment of an inquiry, led by a former judge, into the operation of the hotel quarantine program.

“I’ve also asked the Prime Minister to divert flights to other cities for the next two weeks while we reset the program under the supervision of Corrections Victoria. The inquiry will report in eight to 10 weeks.”

Meantime, Mr Andrews said 36 suburbs in 10 Melbourne postcodes will be required to return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions until at least 29 July, having been identified as ‘hot zones’.

ACT Health is continuing to monitor the situation in Melbourne and will provide further advice to the community as needed.

Holiday at home

Ahead of the school holidays, ACT Health is also reminding all ACT residents to not travel to any of the affected postcodes, and to reconsider non-essential travel to Melbourne, to avoid the risk of bringing COVID-19 back into the ACT.

All people who have been in Melbourne recently are also asked to be on the lookout for symptoms for a period of 14 days, and to get tested if any COVID-19 symptoms develop, no matter how mild.

For further information, including the list of affected postcodes, visit www.covid19.act.gov.au/news-articles/health-advice-on-covid-19-hot-spots-in-melbourne

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