Businesses confirm cases

Staff members at least three Mitchell Shire businesses have contracted COVID-19 as the shire remains on stage three lockdown.

The Kilmore and District Hospital was forced to activate its outbreak management procedure on Wednesday after a staff member tested positive.

The hospital received the news on Wednesday and began contact tracing on the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The contact tracing was completed on Thursday with all individuals notified.

The confirmed case was not linked to any of the hospital’s aged care facilities.

Chief executive Sue Race said while there was a relatively low risk within the hospital, the inpatient ward was locked down and individual patients were isolated in their rooms.

“Contact tracing has now been completed and we have lifted the lockdown and isolation restrictions for our patients,” she said.

“The staff member and other staff identified as close contacts have followed all DHHS guidelines and are now isolating at home.

“We understand our staff and the community may be anxious when hearing about a local case, but I can assure you, we are following staff protocols and strict visitor restrictions in line with Victoria’s current health directives. We will continue to keep you updated as often as possible.

“Our team has worked tirelessly over the past 36 hours to prevent any further infection. I am incredibly proud of how they have worked to keep our patients, staff and community safe.”

The BlueCross Willowmeade aged care facility in Kilmore was also locked down after a staff member tested positive for the virus last Monday.

A BlueCross spokesperson said no other staff or residents had displayed any COVID-19 symptoms and the case has been reported to the DHHS.

“We are taking all necessary precautions to keep our residents and staff safe, including undertaking contact tracing and contacting any affected individuals. Residents and staff have been tested and we are awaiting the full results,” the spokesperson said.

“BlueCross has closed BlueCross Willowmeade to external visitors except approved medical personnel.

“The safety and wellbeing of our residents, staff and all other members of the BlueCross community is our highest priority.”

McDonald’s Wallan closed for deep cleaning after an employee tested positive to COVID-19.

A McDonald’s Australia spokesperson said the employee was self-isolating at home and there was no suggestion that they came into contact with COVID-19 at the restaurant and there is no risk to any customer.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have closed the restaurant to conduct a deep clean,” the spokesperson said.

“All identified close contacts are currently self-isolating.

“The restaurant will reopen following completion of the deep clean.

“Every day, in every shift across all restaurants, our employees continue to follow strict cleaning, sanitisation, quality control and hygiene procedures.”