COVID-19

Psych wards locked down due to virus fear

It was the state’s only local case on Monday while one positive infection was also recorded in hotel quarantine.More than 25,000 Victorians were tested in the past 24 hours as the total number of locally acquired active cases rose to 16.Premier Daniel Andrews said the positive local case confirmed on Monday was the one foreshadowed on Sunday as under investigation.He said the woman was linked to the Melbourne Airport Holiday Inn cluster and the private function in Coburg on February 6.The Premier said the woman had worked in a psychiatric unit at The Alfred and on psychiatric wards at the Northern Hospital in Broadmeadows, which was run by the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

“She is asymptomatic, she was swabbed four times over the 13th and 14th of February, variably returning both negative and weak positive results,” Mr Andrews said.“Given her exposure and the variability of those results, a public health team have taken the most conservative approach and have deemed her a positive case.“Even though this individual’s result is unclear, we are assuming, for the purposes of contact tracing and a rapid response, that she is in fact positive.

“Those services have had those wards locked down. Staff and all those that she may have come in contact with, they are all isolating and have been tested.”The venues on the public exposure sites list also continues to rise with the iconic Queen Victoria Market and several tram routes added on Sunday evening.It comes as the Melbourne Airport Holiday Inn cluster grew to 17 over the weekend after a woman aged in her 50s and a child aged under 10 tested positive.About 940 people associated with the outbreak have now been identified as primary close contacts, with 129 of those direct family, social and workplace close contacts.As of Sunday, 127 had tested negative.

A further 1567 contacts have been identified through the exposure site at terminal four at Melbourne Airport. The health department said all of them had been contacted by authorities to ensure they are isolating and getting tested.Victoria’s snap five-day lockdown is slated to end at 11.59pm on Wednesday, subject to public health advice.Victorians cannot leave home unless for shopping for necessary goods and services, care and caregiving, exercise and permitted work.
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