Masks made mandatory

A Seymour chemist closed for deep cleaning during the weekend after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

The store was cleaned on Saturday in line with government protocols before reopening yesterday morning.

A note posted on the front door of Chemist Discount Centre Seymour in Station Street said as a healthcare provider, the store already had very high standards of cleaning and hygiene in place for the protection of staff and customers.

“The wellbeing of our customers, team and communities is our highest priority, and in line with public health advice, we are taking all necessary steps to ensure ongoing safety in our store,” the sign said.

Despite the notice saying store would reopen on Monday, the Review attempted to contact Chemist Discount Centre multiple times but with no success.

Face coverings will be mandatory for people leaving the house in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire from Thursday as 275 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Victoria on Monday.

The rise brings Victoria’s total number of cases to 5942 with the number of active cases up to 2913 as of Sunday.

Of those active cases, 13 are in Mitchell Shire, a decrease of one from Sunday, five in Macedon Ranges Shire, an increase of one from Sunday, and 155 in the City of Whittlesea, an increase of seven from Sunday.

Along with the four reasons to leave the house, people will now also have to wear a mask or risk facing a $200 fine.

There are some reasons not to wear a mask, including medical reasons, for children under 12, professional reasons or if it is not practical such as when running. But everyone is expected to carry a face covering at all times to wear when possible.

In schools, teachers will not have to wear a face covering while teaching but students attending for VCE, VCAL and on-site supervision will and everyone will be expected to wear one on the way to and from school.

The State Government is working with Victorian industries to provide advice to workplaces in the coming days.

Face coverings will continue to be recommended in regional Victoria where maintaining 1.5 metres distance is not possible but regional Victorians will have to wear a mask when visiting Melbourne or Mitchell Shire.

Victoria’s State of Emergency has also been extended until 11.59pm on August 16 to allow for the enforcement of mandatory face masks and other directions from the chief health officer.

Greater restrictions are also being placed on aged care facilities from tomorrow, Wednesday, July 22. Visitation will be restricted to those defined as carers only, with a limit of one hour per day.

Premier Daniel Andrews said it was a big shift and could be confronting.

“Not being able to see each other’s faces might be confronting but this virus is incredibly infectious – and this is about keeping people safe,” he said.