COVID-19

More deaths linked to aged care home outbreak

Estia Health confirmed that the outbreak at its South Morang home was cleared on Wednesday, and the home was no longer in lockdown.A total of 56 residents and 23 staff have been diagnosed with Covid since the outbreak began on October 6, with nine Covid-related deaths among residents.Leader reported last week that six residents had died since the outbreak began.The outbreak started after two employees tested positive on a rapid antigen test (RAT), which Estia Health asks all employees to undergo at the beginning of each shift. Both employees were asymptomatic. COVID OUTBREAK AT EPPING SCHOOLThirty four Covid cases have been linked to Al Siraat College in Epping.It’s the second school in the City of Whittlesea to be impacted by a Covid outbreak, with 16 cases also linked to Hazel Glen College in Doreen.According to an update on the state government’s coronavirus website on Wednesday, there are a number of educational facilities across the state battling Covid clusters.Other schools listed include Morwell Park Primary School, Morwell (76 cases), Islamic College of Melbourne, Tarneit (60 cases), Stockdale Road Primary School Traralgon (29 cases) and Edgars Creek Primary School Wollert (12 cases).Other outbreaks in Melbourne’s north and north east include Nino Early Learning Adventures Preston (19 cases), Supreme Caravans Manufacturing Campbellfield (51 cases), and Assisi Centre Aged Care Rosanna (11 cases).The City of Whittlesea recorded 40 new Covid cases on Wednesday.There are now 584 active cases in the municipality – a big drop from Monday’s figure of 720 active cases.GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH TIER 1 SITEA Greek Orthodox Church is the latest Tier 1 exposure site in the City of Whittlesea, as infections in the area continue to grow.Anyone who visited The Greek Orthodox Church Of Thomastown – The Transfiguration of Our Lord, at 45 Poplar St, between 8.30am-1pm on October 10, should get tested immediately and quarantine for 14 days from exposure. The City of Whittlesea recorded 138 new Covid cases on Monday.There are now 1998 active cases spread across the municipality.SHOPPING CENTRE DENIES VACCINATION RUMOURSPacific Epping management has denied reports it will only allow double-jabbed shoppers to enter the centre, after a rumour was spread online.A Facebook post, seen by Leader, claimed “An insider at Epping Plaza has leaked they will only allowed “double-jabbed” shoppers in their centre from December 1”.But the shopping centre operators set the record straight in a Facebook update on Wednesday.“We understand that there has been some information circulating in relation to the reopening at the centre,” the post said.“At Pacific Epping, we’re adhering to all Government advice and directives in our response to this ongoing situation. As a result, we are not refusing entry to the centre to unvaccinated members of our community.”It comes after a person “known to have Covid-19” visited the shopping complex on September 22.“An individual known to have COVID-19 entered Pacific Epping and walked between Woolworths and Aldi, entering both stores,” Pacific Epping posted online.“The person was at Pacific Epping for approximately two hours, from 11.30am to 1.15pm. “In response to this incident, we closed the H & G (Hunter and Gatherer) Mall and the Fashion Mall from H & G to Aldi. Out of an abundance of caution, we completed a deep clean and sanitisation of all amenities and malls that the individual visited overnight.” The centre also has several other exposure sites listed on its website.There are 1392 active Covid cases in the City of Whittlesea, including 259 in Epping.Covid vaccination data revealed earlier this week showed that Epping was one of 27 suburban Melbourne postcodes with lower first dose vaccination coverage than the 80-plus per cent Victorian average.Pacific Epping general manager Andrew Drivas said the health and wellbeing of its entire Pacific Epping community was always its overriding priority.“As has been the case throughout this COVID-19 period, we are adhering to all Government advice and directives in our response to this situation and will continue to do so as we move towards reopening,” he said.“We are closely monitoring announcements from the Victorian Government in relation to the reopening of retail and hospitality as part of the Government’s road map.“As we approach the reopening, we are excited to welcome our community back to the Centre.“Until then, Pacific Epping remains open and trading, providing all members of our community access to the essential goods and services that they need during this time.”MCDONALD’S, COSTCO AMONG EXPOSURE SITESThe McDonald’s at Epping Plaza has been deemed a Tier 2 site after a positive case attended the High St venue between 1pm – 3.30pm September 22, and between 8.45am – 1.30pm September 23.It comes as Costco Epping temporarily closed after a number of positive cases were linked to the site.According the Department of Health coronavirus website, 31 cases have been linked to the warehouse.Managing director for Costco Australia and New Zealand Patrick Noone said after being notified of a few close contacts who had tested positive for Covid, it made the difficult decision out of an abundance of caution to close the warehouse on Thursday, September 23.“We remained closed until the necessary warehouse staff had been Covid-19 tested, and the warehouse had been deep cleaned,” he said.“We were then permitted to reopen on Saturday (September 25).“Only staff deemed safe to return to work have done so. We are continuing to operate in a Covid safe manner, adhering to a strict Covid Safe Plan which we review daily to ensure we are conforming to Vic Health guidelines.”Other known clusters in the area include the Northern Hospital Epping Emergency Department (55 cases), Crusader Caravans Epping (23 cases), Wallaby Childcare Wollert (11 cases), The Homestead Child and Family Centre Roxburgh Park (10 cases), Coles Roxburgh Village Roxburgh Park (9 cases), The Northern Hospital Epping (8 cases), Mill Park Police Station (7 cases), Coles Aurora Village Epping (6 cases), Gumboots Early Learning Centre South Morang (5 cases) and Mernda YMCA Early Learning Centre Mernda (5 cases).A new high-volume vaccination centre will open at La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus on Friday.There are a range of other vaccination centres across the City of Whittlesea. Details: whittlesea.vic.gov.auLATEST CITY OF WHITTLESEA EXPOSURE SITES– Comfort Sleep Bedding Co, 204 Holt Parade, Thomastown, 8am – 5pm, September 30, and 8am- 11.30am, October 1. Tier 1.– Harvey Norman Thomastown, 308-320 Settlement Rd, 9.30am – 5pm September 24, 9am – 5. 30pm September 25 and 8.45am – 6pm September 26. Tier 2.– Australia Post store, Bundoora Square Shopping Centre, 9am – 5.30pm, September 29 and 9am – 5.30pm September 30. Tier 1.– Story House Early Learning Epping, 329A Harvest Home Road Epping, September 23. Tier 1. – Bunnings Epping, 310 Cooper St, 6am – 3.30pm, September 27. Tier 2. – Costco Wholesale Epping, 60 Deveny Rd, 5.45pm – 7.15pm, September 21. Tier 1.– Yes Optus – Epping Plaza Shopping Centre, 583 High St, 9am – 5pm, September 23. Tier 2.– Sacca’s Fine Foods – Pacific Epping Shopping Centre, 571-583 High St, 12pm – 3.30pm September 22, 8am – 12.30pm September 25. Tier 2.– Woolworths Epping, 571-583 High St, 10.30am-11.06am, September 21. Tier 2.

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