COVID-19 spike has regional Victoria on alert

14 October 2020

Written by: James Strebinos

The recent cluster was linked to the Chadstone outbreak

Victoria have today recorded seven new COVID-19 cases and five deaths, with three of the cases coming from the northern Victorian town of Shepparton and a further one in Bairnsdale.

Authorities have advised residents in Shepparton to get tested for COVID-19 after the cases were identified on Tuesday.

The new cases were sparked by the same man linked to both the Chadstone Shopping Centre and Kilmore cluster.

The spike has seen several Shepparton locations such as Bunnings and McDonalds deemed as high risk areas. Others include:

  • Central Tyre Service, Welsford Street Shepparton from Wednesday 30 September 2020 to Tuesday 13 October 2020.
  • Bunnings Warehouse, Midland Highway Shepparton Friday 2 October 2020
  • McDonalds Shepparton North, 175 Midland Highway Shepparton Saturday 3 October 2020
  • Mooroopna Golf Club Members Bar, Sunday 4 October and Pro Shop and Members Bar Sunday 11 October
  • Shepparton Market Place Medical Centre, Midland Highway Shepparton Thursday 8 October 2020
  • Lemon Tree Café, Fryers Street Shepparton
  • Thai Orchid Restaurant, Nixon Street Shepparton on Wednesday 7 October 2020 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm.
  • Bombshell Hairdressing, Fryers Street Shepparton on Wednesday 7 October 2020 from 9:30am to 10:30am

Victoria’s Commander of Testing and Community Engagement Jeroen Weimar says extensive contact tracing has begun and urges locals that become ill to stay at home.

“To everyone locally – even if you haven’t been near these locations – if you feel unwell at all, please get tested as soon as possible and stay at home until you get your results,” Weimar said.

“If you need additional support to stay home, there are financial payments available to assist those who need it.”

“We’re asking everyone in the local community – and any Victorian who has loved ones in Shepparton – to share this message.”

Regional Victoria is currently on step three of Victoria’s restrictions roadmap which has fewer limits on movement and business compared to metropolitan Melbourne.

Local Shepparton MP Suzanna Sheed spoke to Parliament on Tuesday night following the news of the outbreak.

“To find out that just tonight there are … active cases, possibly with many contacts for our community, is extremely upsetting,” she said.

“We had a moment of hope in regional Victoria that we might have been able to have a much better result, to be able to be more isolated and to be able to free up even more.

“News like that can just really be so devastating in our communities when we feel like we were really getting on top of it.”

The three cases are all self-isolating at home and are being monitored by Goulburn Valley Health.

Residents of Shepparton can be tested at Goulburn Valley Health’s Acute Respiratory Clinic at Graham Street, Shepparton, or a pop up site at the showgrounds with more testing spots to be established in the coming days.

Photo: New York National Guard by The National Guard available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.