Whittlesea coronavirus count tops 500


By Laura Michell

Whittlesea’s coronavirus count has surpassed 500 cases, with the recent rise in infections largely driven by an outbreak at Epping Gardens Aged Care.

Latest Department of Health and Human Services data shows there are 501 cases of coronavirus in Whittlesea – an increase of 15 from yesterday. The municipality has 334 active cases.

The coronavirus outbreak at Epping Gardens was this morning linked to 82 cases, up five from yesterday.

The number of coronavirus cases at the facility has grown rapidly in recent days. On July 21, DHHS said there were two cases linked to the facility. Yesterday, the department said there were 77 cases.

Australian Defence Force Medics were deployed to the facility on Monday to help care for residents, with some residents transferred to hospital today.

According to DHHS, no new cases have been linked to an outbreak at Bertocchi Smallgoods’ Thomastown factory in the past 24 hours. The outbreak has been linked to 69 cases.

Hume has recorded 16 new coronavirus cases since yesterday, taking the municipality’s total to 826 cases. There are 392 active cases.

Forty-five cases of the virus have been linked to Arcare Aged Care in Craigieburn, however, the centre has not recorded any new cases since Saturday.

Arcare chief executive Colin Singh said 23 residents, 20 team members and two allied health professionals have tested positive for the virus, with two residents and one team member hospitalised.

Three residents have died after testing positive for the virus.

“While all had underlying health issues, it has been an incredibly challenging and upsetting time for the team at Craigieburn as it has for the families of these residents,” Mr Singh said.

“Another round of testing at Arcare Craigieburn was carried out on Saturday and we are expecting the results [on Tuesday].”