Woolies shoppers ordered to isolate

Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton said the traces were picked up around the Epping and Wollert area on Thursday night, prompting an investigation that uncovered there had been an error with a Woolworths coronavirus exposure site.“We are encouraging anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 – fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, and loss or change in sense of smell or taste – to get tested,” Professor Sutton said in a statement on Friday.“While the detections may be due to someone who has had COVID-19 that is no longer infectious continuing to shed the virus, it is also possible that it is due to an active but undiagnosed infectious case.”The wastewater detection concerned authorities because it is the same area where a positive case – who unknowingly caught the virus in South Australian hotel quarantine before flying to Melbourne – lives.The man, who tested positive on May 4, is not currently in the Wollert area and is isolating in a health hotel outside the catchment, so coronavirus fragments are not thought to have come from him.Contact tracers who re-investigated his movements have now ammended an exposure site location to include the Woolworths Epping North supermarket, at the corner Epping Road and Lyndarum Drive, from 5.40pm to 6.38pm on May 8.The original exposure site was Woolworths Epping, at the corner of Cooper and High Streets, which is adjacent to other exposure sites.The department now says that was an error.The warning includes Woolworths staff and health officials have been in contact with the store to arrange staff identification and testing.“What this means is, out of an abundance of caution, anyone who has been to the following exposure site has to get tested and isolate until they return a negative result,” Professor Sutton said.There is a testing site at Northern Hospital in Epping, which is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm.A pop-up testing site is also being set up at Epping Stadium from Saturday.“These types of traces of coronavirus in wastewater are getting detected regularly – with more people leaving hotel quarantine cleared of the virus but still shedding, and moving around our community,” Professor Sutton said.“This detection is of note because there are public exposure sites in the area relating to the Wollert case, who has been isolating in a health hotel outside the catchment.”

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