Northern Hospital staff test positive for coronavirus


By Laura Michell

Two new cases of coronavirus have been linked to the Northern Hospital.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) this afternoon confirmed that two healthcare workers from the hospital’s emergency department have tested positive for the virus.

“Contact tracing of staff and patients is underway,” the department said in a statement.

“All emergency department staff will be tested as a precaution.

“The workers wore appropriate [personal protective equipment] during patient interactions on the shifts worked.”

The Northern Hospital cases brings the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Whittlesea to 71. There are currently 22 active cases in the municipality.

There are 205 confirmed cases in Hume, of which 98 remain active.

A family outbreak in Roxburgh Park has spread to 23 people, with three new cases linked to the cluster today.

The suburbs of Broadmeadows, Jacana, Dallas, Craigieburn, Roxburgh Park, Mickleham, Kalkallo and Donnybrook are currently in lockdown after they were declared coronavirus “hot zones” by the state government.

Victoria’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton encouraged people living in the locked down suburbs to get tested.

“This virus is not selective, it will impact anyone it encounters, and personal contact is the clear source of its transmission. More than 300,000 people live across these suburbs. We need everyone to do their part and ensure it is stopped in its tracks,” Professor Sutton said.

“There is no excuse for not getting tested. We have people knocking on your door, coming to your neighbourhood – we are bringing the testing to you. There are also several drive-through and fixed sites where people can go.

“And no matter where you live, it remains critical to practice good hygiene in and outside the home – wash your hands regularly, cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and try to avoid touching your face,

“Stay 1.5 metres away from anyone you don’t live with and avoid crowds, especially indoors. If you can keep working from home – you must keep working from home.

“We have made some great progress in slowing the spread of coronavirus, but we are still seeing new cases in the community.

“Don’t take this disease lightly. if you feel unwell with any symptoms of coronavirus, however mild, you should stay home and get tested.”